Surprisingly enough, under Irish law, the birth mother, regardless of whose eggs are carried in her womb, is considered the child’s legal guardian. Despite this unfortunate reality, surrogacy remains a popular option for childless Irish couples.
A recent case currently underway at the High Court hopes to challenge this law. The Independent reports:
…A married couple, whose twin daughters were born by surrogacy to the wife’s sister, are seeking to be declared the twins’ parents on their birth certs.
The couple challenged the State’s contention that the birth mother is always the legal mother, arguing that as a result of scientific advances, including blood, DNA and genetic inheritance tests, uncertainty has “entered into the picture” in the question of motherhood.
The High Court judge has heard the arguments and has retired to consider the matter. While surrogate parents will be hoping the State comes down on their side, not everyone agrees.
Some believe that the potential for confusing a child’s identity is too great.
Writing in this newspaper, columnist David Quinn, who heads Catholic think-tank the Iona Institute, called for surrogacy to be banned: “No child should ever have to wonder who is my ‘real’ mother, my birth mother or genetic mother, as a result of the deliberate design of adults.”