60% of children in LGBT+ families are denied of having a legal connection to both parents.
The majority of LGBT+ headed families fall outside any legal framework, meaning that only one parent can be recognised as a legal parent. As a result, such families face unknown outcomes in the event of; bereavement, illness or any family disaster. Despite the progress made today, LGBT+ families are #stillnotequal
Equality for Children, a grassroots campaign launched in October 2019, campaigns for equality for all children of LGBT+ families in Ireland. It was started by a collective of concerned parents and allies, who became tired of waiting for their children to be given the legal equality that they deserve.
The Children and Family and Relationships Act dictates a very particular set of rules that LGBT+ parents must follow when creating their families. While this act has provided enormous relief for hundreds of families, including the family recognised today, it is still not good enough that approximately only 40% of the children of LGBT+ families benefit from this bill. The other 60% are denied the option of having a legal connection to both their parents. Almost 6 years after marriage equality, that is simply not acceptable.”
“We recognise that progress has been made via; the CFRA, the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill reaching Oireachtas Committee stage, and the report recently completed by the Special Rapporteur on Child Protection, Dr. Conor O’ Mahony, regarding the legal rights required by those LGBT+ families not yet protected. These are significant developments that have the potential to provide pathways to legal recognition for the families that currently are prevented from having full legal protections However, the pace of progress is unacceptably slow. We are calling on the government to publish the report from Dr. Conor O’ Mahony and to adopt all of its recommendations in the upcoming Assisted Human Reproduction Bill.”
The campaign has garnered support from across and beyond the LGBT+ community. EFC volunteers work on areas such as; social media, fundraising, lobbying, artwork, legal support etc. The Equality For Children campaign is asking people to support them via volunteering and donations, to enable the fight for full equality.
Founder of Equality for Children, Ranae von Meding’s wife has no parental rights to her children. Ranae spoke about her wife, Audrey Rooney, on Ireland AM on Virgin Media last week about the challenges the majority of LGBT+ couples who have used assisted human reproduction are still facing nearly six years on from Marriage Equality.
Ranae has recently done media takeovers of Jennifer Zamparelli’s, Rosanna Davison’s and Lisa Cannon’s Instagram accounts in order to spread awareness.
Outlining the issues faced by the parent who’s not recognised in law she said, “Aside from the obvious psychological distress it causes our families. For anyone who’s not recognised you have no right to do anything with your children. You cannot give medical consent for your child, even for a vaccine. You cannot register your child for a school. You can’t access citizenship, PPS numbers, passports if you’re not the legal parent,”
There is a misconception that with marriage equality, equality has been achieved. However the legislation needs change to recognise LGBTQ family units for what they are – families – and give equal rights to both parents. This campaign aims to educate the 62% of the Irish population that voted ‘YES’ for marriage equality that true equality hasn’t been achieved.
Equality for Children is a not for profit organisation which was founded by a group of LGBT+ parents who came together to fight for equality for their children. In Ireland, the majority of children within LGBT+ families are prevented from having a legal relationship with both of their parents. The Equality for Children campaign advocates for these families and aims to mobilise public opinion to affect change.
‘Equality for Children’ can be found at @equalityforchildren and at www.equalityforchildren.ie.