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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Surrogacy in Ireland: Where do we stand?

VOTERS ARE BEING asked to take to the polls on 22 May to make their opinion known in the Marriage Equality referendum.

However, marriage is not the only thing being brought up in the debate in the run-up to the vote.

Other matters such as the family, procreation and surrogacy have all been raised in the debate.

Ireland has long kept an arms-length approach to the issue of surrogacy.

So, where do we stand now in terms of the law.

Well, the short answer is there are no surrogacy laws.

It was expected that this would all change with the Child and Family Relationships Bill.

This piece of legislation had been a long time coming and deals with issues relating to children’s rights, the family, guardianship and adoption.

Up until the last minute, it also included surrogacy, but this was omitted in the final draft.

Surrogacy in Ireland does happen, it just isn’t governed by law.

This became apparent under the Supreme Court case brought by the genetic mother of twins whose sister gave birth to them as a surrogate.

She sought to be named as mother on the children’s birth certs but the State has insisted that only the woman who gives birth to a child can be recognised.

The court ruled that only the birth mother can appear as the legal mother of a child.

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