The latest version of a plan that would overhaul family law in Ireland no longer addresses surrogacy, according to the Irish Times. The original proposal was published earlier this year by the former Justice Minister, Alan Shatter, and had included provisions on surrogacy arrangements and children born through surrogacy.
The current Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald, explained the change and noted the subject of surrogacy is being evaluated by the country’s Supreme Court in a decision expected next month. That decision will be the result of an appeal of an earlier High Court decision that allowed genetic parents to be registered on the birth certificates and recognized as the legal parents of their twins born through surrogacy.
Fitzgerald also noted that more consultation needed to be concluded before surrogacy legislation could proceed. Her predecessor, Alan Shatter, believes that removing the surrogacy provisions from the proposed legislation is a mistake.
While the legislative plan no longer includes surrogacy, it does allow same-sex civil partners and cohabiting couples who have been living together for at least three years to adopt a child. Same-sex marriage is currently not legal in Ireland.
Another provision of the proposal would ban the use of anonymous sperm or egg donation in Ireland and require clinics and hospitals to report the details of the donors to a national register. In the United Kingdom, all donors are identifiable and have been for the past nine years. Any child born from a donation that occurred after April 1, 2005, can request the name and last known address of the donor once he or she reaches the age of 18.
Circle Surrogacy last offered consultations and an information session to Irish intended parents in March of this year. During our time in Dublin, Circle’s Legal Director, Dean Hutchison, appeared on Irish national television to debate surrogacy. We also contributed a letter to the editor of the Irish Times.
We’ll continue to monitor developments on surrogacy and gamete donation in Ireland and post them on our blog.
To learn more about pursuing surrogacy in the United States, download our free information guide here.