My child 'is a stranger to me in the eyes of the law': Same-sex couples protest to allow both parents names on birth certs

My child 'is a stranger to me in the eyes of the law': Same-sex couples protest to allow both parents names on birth certs
Ranae Von Meding with her daughter Arya Von Meding. Pictures: Collins

Same-sex couples are protesting outside the Department of Health over what they describe as inequality for children.

Campaigners are meeting with the Health Minister today to call for a change in the law to allow both parents names on birth certificates. At the moment, most same-sex parents cannot both appear on the birth certificate of their own child.

A campaign group called Equality For Children are asking for the laws to be changed to allow for this, claiming their children do not have the same rights as others. In a statement, the group said: "LGBTQ+ do not parents have the same rights as heterosexual parents. Only one person in an LGBTQ+ family can be a legal parent - leaving an unknown outcome for families in the event of bereavement, illness and more.

"Almost five years on from marriage equality, all other LGBTQ+ family equality has stalled. The reality is that LGBTQ+ families, married and unmarried exist, but remain unprotected in the Irish state in spite of the marriage referendum."

Campaign Director Ranae Von Meding says the current laws are not good enough.

"The government are telling people how and where they can conceive and birth their children," said Ms Von Meding.

Protesters Bell the dog with Willa O'Hagan 18 months from Rathcoole
Protesters Bell the dog with Willa O'Hagan 18 months from Rathcoole

"And if a child is born outside of the State as well they are not entitled to the same protections as if they were born in the State."

In the case of a male same-sex couple, both names cannot appear on the birth cert in any circumstance.

Stay-at-home father Gearoid Kenny-Moore and his husband used a surrogate. However, since his name cannot appear on the birth cert, it means he cannot give consent for his own son.

"Big things like a medical operation, his enrolment at school, vaccinations, I have absolutely no right," said Mr Kenny-Moore.

"I care for him 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He is an amazing child, but he is a stranger to me in the eyes of the law."

Only one of the four same-sex couples meeting with the Health Minister is legally allowed to have both names on their child's birth cert.

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