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Bill sets out steps for court-based transfer of parentage from surrogates
Pic: Shutterstock

12 Nov 2021 / legislation Print

Bill sets out steps for court-based transfer of parentage

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has said that a bill being drafted on assisted human reproduction (AHR) sets out a court-based mechanism through which the parentage of a child born through surrogacy may be transferred from the surrogate to the intending parent(s).

The bill also outlines the specific conditions under which surrogacy in Ireland will be permitted, which will include a requirement for all surrogacy agreements to be altruistic and pre-authorised by the new AHR Regulatory Authority.

In addition, under the surrogacy provisions, at least one of the intending parents will have to be genetically related to the child.

Child's right

The bill will also provide for the establishment of a National Surrogacy Register to ensure the child’s right to identify all parties (including the surrogate mother, intending parents and any donor) involved in the child’s conception and birth.

The minister was responding to a question (10 November) by Bernard J Durkan TD, who asked how the bill would ensure that the interests of the children and parties would be safeguarded and protected, with particular reference to the obviation of the need for subsequent legal action.

Prohibited

The minister clarified that commercial surrogacy in Ireland would be prohibited, “as it raises a number of concerns relating to the welfare and commodification of the children involved, as well as the potential risks of coercion and exploitation of financially vulnerable women to act as surrogates”.

The Department of Health is engaging “intensively” with the Office of the Attorney General in order to finalise this complex legislation, the minister added.

The welfare and best interests of children born because of AHR are key principles underpinning all legislative measures in this area, he said.

Gazette Desk
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