Legal Rights Call For Children Born Through Surrogacy

Ailbhe Conneely | RTE | June 10, 2021

The absence of surrogacy regulation means that Irish mothers have no legal ties to children born through international surrogacy and have to apply for guardianship after two years. The Department of Health has been drafting a bill on assisted reproduction since 2017, and is expected to address concerns about surrogate requirements and regulations. The timeline for the bill is unknown, but will only recognize domestic surrogacy and is likely to consider the recent report by the Special Rapporteur on Child Protection. In the article, Cathy Wheatley, mom to two surrogacy-born children, expresses desire for intended mothers to have legal recognition in surrogacy situations, “because they have two parents who love them beyond belief…and we’ll just continue to fight for their rights…”

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Female Politicians Want to See Paid Leave for IVF and Miscarriage Ordeals Introduced

Louise Burne | Extra.ie | May 31, 2021

Sparked by a Labor Party Bill which proposed 20 days paid leave after miscarriage as well as 10 days paid leave for fertility treatment, many female politicians in Ireland have been sharing personal stories regarding their fertility journeys. Currently, Ireland is the only country in the European Union that does not offer state support for fertility treatment. During the legislative debate, several senators spoke about the emotional and physical trauma that followed fertility treatments or miscarriages and called for government-funded IVF and paid leave.

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State Has Acted to Ensure Couple Can Return From Ukraine with Newborn, Judge Says

Aodhan O’Faolain | Irish Times | April 16, 2021

An Irish couple who traveled to Ukraine to welcome their surrogacy-born son, were not going to be allowed to return home. New travel bans were enacted while they were away, requiring travelers from certain countries to pre-book a quarantine hotel. The couple challenged the government’s failure to ensure their return to Ireland as a breach of their constitutional rights and endangerment of their newborn’s health. High Court Judge Brian O’Moore announced the State would pass regulations to allow the family to return to Ukraine without having to quarantine.

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New Laws Needed on Surrogacy, Special Rapporteur on Child Protection Says

Noel Baker | Irish Examiner | April 1, 2021

The Irish Special Rapporteur on Child Protection wrote a report calling for comprehensive surrogacy regulations to better serve surrogacy-born children. These recommendations would  address an arena entirely unregulated in Ireland. They call for a pathway to parentage through surrogacy, incentivizing domestic surrogacy arrangements over international ones, and greater rights for children, among other suggestions.

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Children ‘Should Have Right’ to Know Donor Parents From Age of 12

Sheila Wayman | The Irish Times | March 31, 2021

Professor Conor O’Mahony authored a report titled A Review of Children’s Rights and Best Interests in the Context of Donor-Assisted Human Reproduction and Surrogacy in Irish Law. The article focuses specifically on the recommendation that donor-assisted and surrogacy-born children have the right to request and access information about their genetic parents from the age of 12, rather than 18, which is in current law. Mahony recommends these provisions after the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs requested a review of children’s best interests in surrogacy cases.

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Boy Born Abroad Through Surrogacy Arrangement Seeks Irish Passport

Aodhan O’Faolain | The Irish Times | September 7, 2020

A same-sex couple who had a child through surrogacy in 2015 and live outside of Ireland has faced a consistent struggle with authorities to secure an Irish passport for their son. This article chronicles the back and forth between the parents and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who has refused to recognize the parent-child relationship between the Irish citizen parent (not biological) and the child. In the past week, the family has initiated High Court proceedings in an attempt to finally secure a passport for their child.

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Stateless Children and Parents Who Are Legal ‘Strangers’: The Irish Families Left in Limbo

By Peter McGuire | thejournal.ie | July 14, 2020

This article provides a brief history of the rights of parents in Ireland whose children are conceived through assisted reproduction. The author posits that legal protections for children conceived outside traditional heterosexual relationships still fall short. For example, birth certificates of children born to same-sex couples do not recognize both parents as legal guardians. In one case, an Irish couple who conceived a child with the help of a surrogate in the United States had to sign an affidavit stating that one parent is a legal stranger in order to attain an Irish passport for their newborn. Despite recommendations from the Commission on Assisted Human Reproduction (AHR), the article asserts that legislation has yet to be made to make assisted reproduction more accessible for all family structures involved.

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