Seanad debates

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Children and Family Relationships Bill 2015: Second Stage


12:00 pm

Photo of Katherine ZapponeKatherine Zappone (Independent) | Oireachtas source

The Minister has indicated her objective to facilitate as many non-marital fathers as possible to become guardians. However, I question whether it should be all non-marital fathers and why there is not a presumption for non-marital fathers. Why is that not the case?

Fourth, the Bill obliges civil partners to maintain their civil partners’ children on the same basis as applies to spouses, and it allows greater stability for the child being raised by same-sex couples as it allows civil partners and long-term cohabitants to adopt the child. Where same-sex couples apply to adopt a child, it is most likely that the child will not be a stranger to them, but rather a biological child of one of the parties. In such a case, it would clearly not be in the best interests of the child to be adopted by total strangers, even if they are heterosexual and married.

I wish to raise some concerns. The form of guardianship offered to spouses, civil partners and cohabitants is a limited form of guardianship. A court can enhance the type of guardianship granted, but the default form of guardianship is limited.


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