Thursday, 5 November 2009
Dáil Eireann Debate
179. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs when approval will be given in respect of registry of birth in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 20; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [39887/09]
Minister for Social and Family Affairs (Deputy Mary Hanafin): I have had enquiries made with the HSE Civil Registration Service (Eastern Region) and I am informed that the position is that the mother of the person (details supplied) was in a legally subsisting marriage at the time of the birth. It appears that she informed the registrar that her legal spouse was not the father of the child and that the couple separated prior to the birth, albeit not by way of divorce, separation agreement or order.
Under Section 46 the Status of Children Act, 1987, a married man is legally presumed to be the father of all children of a subsisting marriage and this presumption is reflected in the provisions contained in part 3 of the Civil Registration Act, 2004, which govern the registration of births.
Section 22(3) of the Civil Registration Act, 2004, requires a woman who was in a subsisting marriage at the time of the birth, or in such a marriage within 10 months prior to the birth, and who claims that her husband is not the father of her child, to produce to the registrar either;
a statutory declaration that she has been living apart from her husband during the period of 10 months ending immediately before the birth of the child by virtue of a decree of divorce, a decree of divorce a mensa et thoro, a decree of nullity or a deed of separation, or
As it appears that the mother in this case is not separated from her legal spouse by means of a decree or deed referred to above, a statutory declaration from her legal spouse has been requested from her by the registrar but has not been forthcoming.
A further option for registration in this case is provided for under the provisions of section 22(2)(d) of the Civil Registration Act, 2004, which allows registration of a birth to proceed if the mother produces to the registrar a document purporting to be a copy of an order made by a court in proceedings referred to in section 45 of the Status of Children Act 1987 (in effect, a Guardianship or Maintenance Order from the District Court), finding that a person other than her legal spouse is the father of the child.
I am informed that the mother of the person (details supplied) has been fully informed of the requirements, as outlined above, to rebut the presumption of paternity and to allow the registration to proceed, but has failed to comply with same to date. Once these requirements have been met, the registration will be approved on the authority of a Superintendent Registrar.
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