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Legal Rights

Family Types

Other Issues


LGBT Parents©

Families are formed in many different ways within lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) relationships.  Below we discuss some of these family formations and highlight the legal position of both partners in relation to any children they may be parenting together.




Please note:   Sections of The Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 have now been commenced, as of 18th January 2016.  It is now possible for LGBT parents who are not biologically related to children in their care (and others who act in loco parentis) to apply for guardianship.  See 'Legal Rights in Respect of Children' below.  The sections of the Act which regulate parentage in cases of donor-assisted human reproduction have not yet been commenced.  

We will update our information and also publish commencement dates on our website and facebook as soon as they are announced.  (Follow us on Facebook!)

(Up-to-date on 16/02/2016)


The Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010  made it possible for LGBT couples to enter into a Civil Partnership, giving them many of the same rights enjoyed by married heterosexual people.  However, this legislation generally does not deal with children.  As of the 16th November 2015, same sex couples have the right to marry without distinction as to their sex.  Regulations have been signed which makes it easier for couples in Civil Partnerships to marry.  Couples in a Civil Partnership in Ireland can remain as they are but it is no longer possible to enter a Civil Partnership in Ireland.  

Legal Rights in Respect of Children

  • Guardianship
  • Access
  • Custody
  • Child Maintenance

Family Types

  • Child from a previous opposite sex relationship
  • Adoptive Parents
  • Foster Parents
  • Parents as a result of Assisted Human Reproduction (AHR)
  • Surrogacy
  • Transgender people and parenting

Other Relevant Issues

  • Birth Registration
  • Social Welfare
  • Maternity Benefit/Leave
  • Adoptive Benefit/Leave
  • Paternity Benefit/Leave
  • Parental Leave
  • Tax/Succession
  • Shared Parenting


If you would like to talk through your individual situation, don’t hesitate to call us on our confidential LoCall number – 1890 252 084

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