IRELAND: Gay Adoption Bill Advances

The Irish government today approved the publication of the Children and Family Relationship Bill, which would legalize adoption by same-sex couples. From the Independent:

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald today secured cabinet support for the legislation, which Taoiseach Enda Kenny described as the most “important change to family law since the foundation of the State”. The bill will now be proofed and printed ahead of its formal publication on Thursday. The new law proposes a series of sweeping changes to the way in which families are perceived in this State. It will allow for the adoption by same sex-couples and is set to be passed through the Oireachtas ahead of the same-sex marriage referendum in May.

More from the Irish Times:

Ms Fitzgerald said the Bill allowed for access for a broad group people for adoption, include same-sex partners and heterosexual couples who are co-habiting. She said there would be plenty of time for the Oireachtas to discuss the planned law when she spoke to reporters at Government Buildings. Asked to comment on concerns that the Government was attempting to rush the legislation through the Houses in order to separate it from the same-sex marriage referendum, she said: “There’s no question of rushing this legislation. This is important legislation.” She said the legislation was not constitutional change and had been recommended by commissions and reports over many years. “It’s fundamental reform of family law in Ireland, recognising the reality for so many families and so many children out there.”