116. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015. [25977/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Parts 2 and 3 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 provide for the regulation of donor-assisted human reproduction (“DAHR”) procedures carried out in the State, including the legal parentage of children born as a result of DAHR procedures. Parts 2 and 3 of the 2015 Act specifically relate to DAHR procedures carried out in the State where the intending mother is also the birth mother and the child is born in the State. Parts 2 and 3 contain provisions relating to the consent of parties to DAHR procedures (both donors and intending parents); the parentage of donor-conceived children born after the commencement of Parts 2 and 3; the rights of donor-conceived people to access information about their genetic heritage through the establishment of a National Donor-Conceived Person Register; and the use of non-anonymous gametes and embryos in assisted human reproduction involving donated material. Provision is also made for the granting by a court of a retrospective declaration of parentage in relation to a child born in the State as a result of a DAHR procedure (where the donor is unknown) before commencement of Parts 2 and 3, subject to certain conditions. No provision of Parts 2 and 3 has yet been commenced.
The Minister for Health is responsible for the commencement of Parts 2 and 3 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 and associated regulations. He has informed me that his officials are continuing to work, alongside the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel, on completing the outstanding elements necessary to enable commencement of Parts 2 and 3.
Part 9 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 provides for a number of amendments to the Civil Registration Act 2004. Most of these amendments are for the purpose of enabling the registration of the birth of a child born as a result of a DAHR procedure, as defined under Parts 2 and 3 of the 2015 Act. Part 9 amends the 2004 Act to include a definition of “parent” in relation to a child born as a result of a DAHR procedure to which Parts 2 and 3 apply.
The Civil Registration Act 2019, which was signed into law on 23 May 2019, provides for amendments to the Civil Registration Act 2004, including some amendments to address technical issues regarding the wording of some sections of Part 9 of the 2015 Act.
No provision of Part 9 of the 2015 Act has yet been commenced. Section 1(7) of the 2015 Act, as amended by section 12 of the Civil Registration Act 2019, provides that Part 9 shall come into operation 54 months from enactment or on such earlier day or days as the Minister for Justice and Equality may, after consulting with the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, appoint by order. Different days may be appointed for the commencement of different provisions of Part 9. The provisions of Part 9 of the 2015 Act relating to the registration of the birth of donor-conceived children are so closely interlinked with and dependent on Parts 2 and 3 that those provisions of Part 9 cannot be operated until Parts 2 and 3 are brought into operation by the Minister for Health.