Someone said :
I was reading a story where two couples are eagerly awaiting the birth of their child.
In Ireland what is the legal situation here?
Both couples are married, and both are same sex marriages.
If the biological father and the biological mother are each in same sex marriages, is it possible for the other parents (non-biological) to adopt the child so all four have legal claim to the child?
No. In Irish law, only one person or two people can be parents of a child, with the additional feature that the law recognises in some circumstances that there can be an important relationship between a child and a step-parent.
In Irish law, a central part of the adoption process is that the legal relationship with the previous parent or parents ceases:
58 .— Upon an adoption order being made, or the recognition under this Act of an intercountry adoption effected outside the State— http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2010/act/21/enacted/en/print#s etc ...
(a) the child concerned shall be considered, with regard to the rights and duties of parents and children in relation to each other, as the child of the adopters born to them in lawful wedlock, and
(b) with respect to the child, the mother or guardian of the child, and the child’s father, shall , subject to section 57 , lose all parental rights and be freed from all parental duties .
As for who can adopt, that a little bit complicated.
The current law states
33 .— (1) (a) The Authority shall not make an adoption order, or recognise an intercountry adoption effected outside the State, unless— http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2010/act/21/enacted/en/print#s etc ...
(i) the applicants are a married couple who are living together,
(ii) the applicant is the mother or father or a relative of the child...
The Oireachtas in 2015 in the run-up to the marriage equality referendum passed a Bill that would change that in the following way:
Section 33 of the Principal Act is amended— http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2015/act/9/enacted/en/print#se etc ...
(a) in subsection (1)(a) —
(i) by the insertion of the following subparagraphs after subparagraph (i):
“(ia) the applicants are civil partners of each other who are living together,
(ib) the applicants are a cohabiting couple,”,
However, that provision has not yet been made operational (the Minister for Justice needs to sign an order for it to "commence" that section, as the legal jargon puts it).
The bottom line on this is that a married couple can adopt (same-sex or mixed-sex) but other same-sex couples, including those who are in a civil partnership, cannot.