Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Updated commentary on the Revised General Scheme of the Children and Family Relationships Bill 2014

The Alliance for the Defence of the Family and Marriage [ADFAM] has issued a new commentary on the revised general scheme for the Family and Relationships bill as set out below.

Update on ‘the Shatter Bill’
[i.e. the Revised General Scheme of the Children and Family Relationships Bill 2014]
–– it will serve neither children nor mothers
·       The definition of ‘parent’ in this revised General Scheme ignores the fact that the Family according to Article 41.1.1° of the Constitution of Ireland has ‘inalienable and imprescriptible rights, antecedent and superior to all positive law’; and ignores the definition of ‘family’ given by Mrs Justice Susan Denham in McD. –v- L & anor (2009), point 62, where she says ‘Therefore arising from the Terms of the Constitution, “family” means a family based on marriage of a man and a woman.’ The revised General Scheme implies that biological parents can transfer such rights to commissioning couples, for example, in cases of surrogacy. It also directs that in the case of Assisted Human Reproduction ‘conception’ is to be read as ‘implantation’. That ignores the legal reality that the State already accepts the validity of the DNA test, a test based on the scientific fact that the individual human being begins life at fertilization [see the Criminal Justice (Forensic Evidence and DNA Database System) Act 2014]. If the validity of the DNA test is to be undermined in that way, it will have serious knock-on effects in regard to forensic evidence in cases of criminal law to do with murder, rape, robbery, and sundry other crimes.
 [Part 1, Head 2: Interpretation (1), (2)]
·       The revised General Scheme would discriminate between the biological father and the biological mother by persisting in the contested principle that the woman who gives birth is the legal mother. [Part 3: Head 10, (3), (4)]
·       The revised General Scheme pre-empts the judgement of the Supreme Court on the appeal by the Government against the Abbott judgement [The High Court, March 5, 2013]. The Abbott judgement acknowledges the right of the genetic mother to be recognized as the legal mother. [Part 2, Parentage and Presumption of Paternity, Head 5: Parentage (2)]
·       The revised General Scheme, by allowing adoption and custody of children by non-marital couples, cohabiting couples, not excluding same-sex couples, disregards its own stated principle of ‘Best interests of the child’ by ignoring the evidence that children living in the care of such couples, are 8 times more likely to be harmed than children living with married biological parents [Abuse, Neglect, Adoption and Foster Care Research, National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS-4), 2004-2009, March 2010, (Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation)]; and are 50 times more likely to die of injuries, than children residing with two biological parents [P. G. Schnitzer, ‘Child death resulting from inflicted injuries: household risk factors and perpetrator chararcteristics’, Pediatrics 116 (2005) 687-93.] [Part 3, Head 10: Parentage in cases of assisted reproduction using eggs, sperm or in vitro embryos provided by donors; Part 7, Head 37 Best interests of the child]
·       The revised General Scheme is an attempt to legislate, by the back door, for Assisted Human Reproduction including In Vitro Fertilization [IVF]. IVF, as ordinarily practised, relies on the foreseen wastage of 96% of human embryos conceived in vitro [i.e. ‘on glass’]. When more than 1 embryo is  implanted in  a woman, and when that woman is somewhat older, she is advised to have at least one of the extra embryos aborted, as it is claimed that the procedure poses a risk to her health and her life. A recent Chinese study has confirmed the strong link between abortion and breast cancer [‘A meta-analysis of the association between induced abortion and breast cancer risk among Chinese females’, Cancer Causes Control, November 24, 2013]. [Part 4 Safeguards to Preserve the Child’s Identity in Cases of Assisted Reproduction Using Donor Gametes, Head 12, (2), (3)]
Issued by the Alliance for the Defence of the Family and Marriage [ADFAM]