The Irish Government has agreed to put forward proposals in a bill that would govern surrogacy and parenthood. The bill in its current draft form features provisions regarding parenting issues arising from surrogacy and assisted reproduction.
Alan Shatter, the Irish Minister for Justice said ‘We urgently need to reform and modernise our family and children’s law to cater for the growing number of families whose needs are not adequately addressed in current law..Legislation in this area cannot be a one-size-fits-all solution but must, in a creative and pragmatic way, reflect the needs of families and children in 21st century Ireland with the focus firmly fixed on the best interests of the child’
At present there are no statutory provisions regarding surrogacy in Ireland. The surrogate mother is regarded as the mother and the intended parents usually have to adopt the child to secure legal parentage. Mr Shatter added that he hoped that the bill would provide much needed clarity for children born through surrogacy or IVF.
The bill places the welfare of the child as the paramount consideration in relation to parentage issues. The bill prohibits commercial surrogacy. Before the proposed legislation is finalised, the Government have referred the bill to a committee to go through a consultation process.