Maynooth academic discusses child law updates on radio

Dr Fergus Ryan
Dr Fergus Ryan

Law lecturer Dr Fergus Ryan discussed recent developments in child law on Newstalk FM’s Global Village show on Saturday.

Dr Ryan, who lectures in family law at Maynooth University, highlighted the main features of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 in conversation with presenter Dil Wickremasinghe.

He was joined in the discussion by Karen Kiernan, CEO of One Family, and Greg Straton, CEO of Treoir.

Explaining the current legislative framework, Dr Ryan said: “The Children and Family Relationships Act was enacted - signed by the President - in April of 2015, so it’s just one year ago now.

“Some parts of it are enforced and some parts aren’t enforced. The parts that are enforced include the provisions on guardianship, custody and access so the provisions that deal with parental responsibility, broadly speaking, are enforced, but those provisions that deal with assisted human reproduction and provisions dealing with adoption are not yet in force - so it’s a mixed picture, effectively, one year on.”

He said it is “now possible for non-biological parents to apply to court for guardianship, but the provisions that deal with parenthood around assisted human reproduction are not yet in force, and I know that’s causing a lot of difficulty at the moment”.

Dr Ryan added: “I suppose the problem is very often legislation is passed by parliament, but there’s a caveat that it’s not brought into froce until a minister decides that it should be brought into force, and sometimes there can be very significant delays there.”

He compared the delay to the failure to implement the provisions on birth registration in the Civil Registration (Amendment) Act 2014.

You can listen to the programme in the Newstalk archive online.

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