Hope for Hundreds of Irish Couples with Surrogate Children as New Bill to Finally End Legal Limbo Over Parenting Rights

Ellen Coyne | Independent.ie | September 23, 2022

A new bill will regulate international surrogacy in Ireland. Currently, the lack of regulation leaves some parents who hire surrogates in other countries  with no legal relationship to their child once they return to Ireland.

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Oireachtas Urged to Include International Surrogacy in Draft Bill

Irish Legal News | July 7, 2022

Ireland’s Oireachtas committee decided to include international surrogacy in the Health (ART) Bill, which originally only addressed domestic surrogacy, to establish frameworks to protect families, children, and surrogates in international arrangements as quickly as possible.

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Ireland ‘Can Be World Leader’ by Recognising International Surrogacy, Landmark Oireachtas Report Says

Ellen Coyne | Independent.ie | June 27, 2022

Under recommendations by Ireland’s Oireachtas committee, Irish intended parents would be able to go through a process to be recognized as legal parents after having a child through international surrogacy, which is currently unregulated.

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Committee Urged Not To Rush Decisions on Surrogacy Law

Patsy McGarry | The Irish Times | May 13, 2022

Ireland’s Oireachtas Committee had 3 months to make recommendations on international surrogacy arrangements. Gov’t Special Rapporteur on Child Protection Conor O’Mahony criticizes the relevant bills and research as incomplete and recommends another year of prep.

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Special Committee on International Surrogacy to be Established

Ailbhe Conneely | RTÉ News | January 21, 2022

Ireland established a special joint Oireachtas committee to discuss and regulate international surrogacy, especially regarding the rights and interest of the children in order to prevent child trafficking. Legislation suggested by the committee will be integrated into the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill.

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‘Shared Motherhood’ Couple Can Both be Named on Irish Birth Certificate

Michaela Chen | BioNews | October 25, 2021

Irish couple Ranae von Meding and her wife, Audrey Rooney, won the right to be legally recognized as a two-mother family. The couple’s two daughters were conceived in Spain through reciprocal IVF, in which Rooney’s egg was fertilized in vitro and implanted into von Meding’s uterus. Only von Meding was recognized as the legal parent, though the two were married when Rooney gave birth to both daughters. Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 only recognizes same-sex couples who conceive and birth in Ireland, but von Meding and Rooney conceived in Spain because no Irish clinics offered reciprocal IVF at the time. Irish legislation is still lacking legal parenthood provisions on surrogacy, home insemination, and births abroad.

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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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