21st January 2022.
Statement by the Assisted Human Reproduction Coalition in response to the announcement of the Special Joint Oireachtas Committee on Surrogacy.
The members of the Coalition, namely the National Infertility Support and Information Group, Irish Families Through Surrogacy, Irish Gay Dads, Rainbow Family Equality Network, Independent Living Movement Ireland, Equality for Children, and LGBT Ireland welcome the Government announcement of the establishment of a Special Joint Oireachtas Committee to consider options providing an adequate legal framework that includes retrospective provisions, to support and protect the rights of children born through surrogacy.
The Coalition also welcomes the government’s recognition of the need to adapt to modern needs, methods, and approaches to family creation. As outlined by members of our Coalition in meetings with Government Ministers, Senators, and TD’s over the past three years, this is an issue that must be addressed for our children and families. The Committee has been given three months to complete its work. The Coalition is keen that the Committee’s work is completed within the given timeframe and further delays that impact children and families every day are avoided.
The Coalition would encourage the Committee to build on readily available information through the work of Prof Conor O’Mahony, the Special Rapporteur on Children’s Protection. Recommendations are contained within his recent report, which was commissioned by the Government. The report should be used to ensure positive and workable progress is made. Recommendations include:
- Comprehensive legislation regulating surrogacy should be enacted at the earliest opportunity.
- Surrogacy legislation should make provision for the recognition of both domestic and international surrogacy arrangements.
- Provision should be made for a pathway to parentage in respect of children already born through surrogacy.
- A broader review of the implications of Donor Assisted Human Reproduction (DAHR), surrogacy, and modern family forms for the system of registration of births should be considered.
A spokesperson for Irish Families Through Surrogacy said: “Our children are Irish citizens and deserve to be afforded the same provisions as every child in Ireland and have a legal relationship with both parents. At the moment, Irish children are being left in legal limbo as they can often wait years to be granted parental rights to one parent before guardianship proceedings can even take place for their second parent. This is unacceptable. We call on the Government to urgently enact legislation to protect our children.”
The Coalition remains committed to our mission that all children should be treated equally in their right to a legal relationship with a parent/s. Children born via surrogacy exist and they and their families remain unprotected. It is the Coalition’s hope that the government will follow through on its commitment to protect these families.
Interviews and quote inquiries:
Sara Byrne as a representative for Irish Families Through Surrogacy
Gearoid Kenny Moore as a representative for Irish Gay Dads
Ranae von Meding as the representative for Equality For Children: