Ireland continues to lead the way in democratically driven social change as President Higgins today signed into law the Civil Registration Bill 2019. The bill, which passed through its final stages in the Seanad last Wednesday, has been signed on the fourth anniversary of the marriage referendum.
The bill, which will serve as an amendment to the Civil Registration Act of 2004, will allow couples to have the words 'mother' and 'father' replaced on a child's birth certificate with 'parent'. Prior to this, couples who had children via a donor were only allowed to have the mother's name on the birth certificate.
The bill will allow equal parental rights to be granted to both partners in female same-sex relationships.
Before the passing of this bill, were a woman, separated from her husband, go on to have a child with a new partner, through a donor, her estranged husband was automatically conferred parental rights under law. This move will amend that situation, allowing for both women to be granted equal parental status.
Regina Doherty, said on the bill, upon its publication in February that "I have met with and spoken to many affected by this issue and I am now very pleased to be able to bring these changes forward as a priority to ensure that they can be introduced as soon as possible.”