Family Relationships Bill is welcome and long overdue
Ireland should not allow commercial surrogacy exploit women from developing countries
There has been more debate about the proposal that cohabiting couples and civil partners will be eligible to adopt children. At the moment a single person is eligible to adopt, and this has created an anomaly where he or she may be rearing a child within a relationship, but the partner has no parental rights and, if the parent dies or they separate, will legally be a stranger to the child. All adoption decisions will, of course, continue to be based on the best interests of the child and potential adopters will face the same rigorous procedures as before.
Other controversial proposals include those relating to children born through assisted human reproduction. While all such medical procedures are to be regulated in a separate Bill from the Minister for Health, the Child and Family Relationships Bill seeks to deal with some of the problems arising from such procedures. It proposes that where a child is conceived from donor sperm, with the partner’s consent, the mother’s partner can become the child’s legal parent.