Hopefully Ireland will realize that an extensive delay on this case would burden hundreds of families. What a tragedy for the family that the appeal directly affects.
A landmark decision by the High Court to allow the genetic mother of twins born through surrogacy to be named on their birth certificates is to be appealed by the State to the Supreme Court.
Earlier this year, the mother of the twins won her High Court challenge to the Chief Registrar’s refusal to recognise her as their legal mother.
The case was the first of its kind to come before the Irish courts and had far-reaching implications for a number of families.
The woman and her husband had their embryos implanted in her sister’s womb. She later gave birth to twins who are being raised by the couple.
In their case against the State, the couple claimed their constitutional rights as a family were impaired by the refusal of the State to recognise the genetic mother.
Mr Justice Henry Abbott ruled in March that the genetic mother was the legal mother.
The judge ruled that to achieve fairness and constitutional and natural justice for both paternal and maternal genetic parents, any inquiry into motherhood should be based on genetics.
He rejected submissions by the State that the Constitution, through the Right to Life Amendment, established the birth mother as the only legal mother.
In a statement, the Department of Social Protection said the appeal was lodged to clarify the law around surrogacy and assisted human reproduction.
The department says it is extremely mindful of the family at the centre of the case; however the judgment raises important questions about how motherhood may be determined under Irish law, and may affect a potentially large number of families.
“It may also have the effect of tying the hands of the Oireachtas in how it may legislate, in the future, for the complex areas of surrogacy and assisted human reproduction,” it said.
Legislation on surrogacy and assisted human reproduction is currently being prepared by the Government.
The Supreme Court appeal means hundreds of families affected by the ruling may now have a lengthy wait to have their legal status confirmed unless the case is given priority by the court.
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