Children of same sex couples in a legal vacuum

2 Jun 2011

Marriage Equality welcomes the publication of the Ombudsman for Children's Annual Report

Marriage Equality today welcomed the publication of the Ombudsman for Children's Annual Report, which highlighted the failure of the Civil Partnership legislation to include adequate provisions for children of same sex couples. The report, published on the 1st of June, highlights the failure of the Irish Government to take the best interests of the children of same sex couples into account when drafting the Civil Partnership legislation enacted earlier this year. In particular, it criticises sections of the Act dealing with issues of shared home protection, dissolution, maintenance and succession, in which references to the need to provide for any dependent children have been deliberately omitted.

Moninne Griffith, Director of Marriage Equality, said "We share the concerns of the Ombudsman for Children that the Civil Partnership legislation has perpetuated a legal vacuum for children with same sex parents. As a result, the discrimination already faced by these children will continue."

In September 2010, Marriage Equality published its groundbreaking report, Voices of Children. The report, based on personal testimony of young adult children with lesbian parents, looked at how the lack of legal protection for themselves and their families affected their daily lives. A key recommendation from the report was that the Irish Government must establish legal recognition of children in LGBT families, through appropriate amendments to adoption and guardianship laws, and the introduction of civil marriage rights for same sex couples.

"The Government has committed itself to looking at the provision of 'same sex marriage' in an upcoming Constitutional Convention," added Ms Griffith. "When this issue is being debated and discussed in the near future, we would strongly encourage everyone to listen to these children, and take their best interests into account. We would like to see an Ireland in which human rights for ALL children are a lived reality."



The Ombudsman for Children's Annual Report 2010 can be downloaded here:

Marriage Equality's Voices of Children Report can be downloaded here: