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Tag Archives: children’s rights

Legal position of Same Sex Couples & their children in Ireland today:

Although there is no legal right to marry, couples can register a Civil Partnership under the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights of Co-Habitants Act 2010, which came into force in January 2011….a rather large title for a fairly straight forward Act. A Civil Partnership is legally very similar to marriage, and the 2010 Act reflects this in terms of the financial, property and pension rights which it gives. However, the …Read More

Divorce Considerations for the Parents of a Special Needs Child

Divorce or separation can be a harrowing prospect for any parent, but when you are the parents of a special needs child it can pose an even greater challenge: It can be harder to explain to your child what is happening and to offer reassurances about the future. You may need professional input and support Financially, there is less money to go around after separation or divorce.  This can make it …Read More

Children have a right to be heard in Court

I recently spoke with a 14 year old girl who was the subject of family law proceedings before the District Court. The application concerned parentage and access. Mary – not her real name – was adamant that she wanted her views to be heard by the Judge, and when I spoke privately with her, she was incredibly reasoned in both her understanding of the situation, and in her views. She …Read More

5 Key Points about Surrogacy in Ireland

There is no legislation in Ireland at the moment governing Surrogacy. This means that surrogacy contracts are not actually illegal but there is no structure to recognise or enforce them. There is therefore no established structure to recognise a childs legal status under Irish law. If you are considering surrogacy outside Ireland, then it is vital that you research the laws in the country you are choosing, as the legal …Read More

5 Reasons Unmarried Fathers Should Seek Guardianship

You Don’t automatically have it Being named on your child’s birth certificate does not give you guardianship, as some mistakenly believe. To be appointed a legal guardian you either need your partners consent, or a court order. It Gives You a Say A legal guardian is entitled to have a say and be consulted when important decisions are       being made about your child. These could include decisions on medical treatment, …Read More

Mother & Baby Homes – A Manifest Breach of Human Rights in Ireland?

Amid all the reaction to the revelations about Tuam and Ireland’s other mother and baby homes, there has been little response to Amnesty International’s comments.  John Dalhuisen of Amnesty said that the Irish government “must not view this and other cases as merely historic and beyond its human rights obligations.” The European Convention on Human Rights sets out very clearly a large number of basic human rights: The Right To …Read More

What can I do if I feel my child has been a victim of medical negligence?

No matter what age they are, if your child’s health is threatened by a serious or long-term condition -including birth defects – which affects their physical and mental health and abilities, then you are faced with a range of fears and uncertainties: Fears for your child’s future and for their long-term future care – particularly once you are no longer there; and uncertainties as to what you can do to …Read More

Separation and Divorce: What will happen to our kids?

On a human level, what happens to your children is the most emotive element of any break-up and most parents agree that children should always be the number one priority. Their benefit and welfare should come first before deciding any matter, but let’s take a look at what’s involved in this: …. 1. What are the main issues to be decided? From a legal perspective, the main issues to be …Read More

Same Sex Couples: The Right to Marry & Children’s Rights

I welcome the recent announcement and commitment given by the Government to hold a referendum on same sex marriage in 2015. Same sex couples currently have no legal entitlement to marry in Ireland, which is against the trend across Europe and internationally. In the last decade, at least 14 other countries have extended the right to marry to same sex couples, and in some cases the full right to adopt. …Read More

Giving children a voice in family law

There is a cultural shift afoot: more and more lawyers are standing up and commenting on children’s rights, and the discussion is well under way as to how our new changing Family Court Structure, should be best tailored to cater for the Voice of the Child. This observation is by no means made cynically, (as one who has been attempting to rattle this particular cage for some years), but with …Read More