194. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 240 of 22 October 2019, his plans to allow same-sex couples to avail of the same adoptive leave and benefit which straight couples and single-male adopters are entitled to in the context of the Parent's Leave and Benefit Act 2019; if this is not possible, when he plans to deal with the matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53446/19]


Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): On 22 October last, the Government approved the priority drafting of provisions on adoptive leave with a view to their inclusion in the earliest appropriate Bill.  These provisions will give all adopting couples, whether same sex or opposite sex, the right to select which of them will be the qualified adopter i.e. which will get adoptive leave and benefit.
Drafting of the provisions is ongoing and, therefore, it has not proved feasible to include them in the Social Welfare (No. 2) Bill.  I am considering the presentation of a separate Bill to deal with the issue so that the present situation in regard to adoptive leave can be rectified as soon as possible.