An Irish mother is the legal parent of a child she and her husband had with the help of a gestational surrogate, according to Ireland’s High Court. The decision goes against the Irish government’s established position that surrogates are the legal mothers of the children they deliver.
While surrogacy is not illegal in Ireland, the lack of legislation has created an atmosphere of uncertainty on the issue. The Court today recognized the uncertainty of Irish surrogacy and acknowledged that the issue should be addressed at the legislative level.
“To achieve fairness and constitutional and natural justice for both the paternal and maternal genetic parents, the feasible inquiry in relation to maternity ought to be made on a genetic basis and on being proven, the genetic mother should be registered as the mother,” the judge said.
In other words, if an intended mother uses her own eggs in a surrogacy arrangement, she should be treated as the child’s true legal mother. The Court did not address what would happen in the event the intended parents used eggs from an egg donor.
In the case before the High Court, a husband and wife had created embryos through in vitro fertilization using their own sperm and egg. The wife’s sister agreed to act as their gestational surrogate and gave birth to twins. When the mother requested to be named on her children’s birth certificates, the national registry office refused.
That refusal eventually brought the case to the High Court, where today’s ruling overrules the policy. The government may well appeal the decision, which could bring the issue to the Supreme Court, Ireland’s highest court.
While Irish couples and individuals have turned to the United States for years to pursue surrogacy because of the favorable laws, the ruling may simplify the process of securing parental rights for intended mothers.
We applaud the High Court’s decision today, which comes two weeks before Circle Surrogacy’s upcoming trip to Ireland, on March 18-19th. Our group meeting and consultations offer intended parents the chance to learn more about surrogacy in the United States. To learn more about how the recent decision could affect you, register to attend the informational group meeting or request a consultation by clicking below.
[Story via Irish Times]