Parents of babies born through surrogacy will finally have their right to parentage enshrined in Irish law, Dublin Mid West’s local TD has said.
Deputy Emer Higgins welcomed the recent agreement at Cabinet for legislative amendments to be brought to the committee stage of the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill to legislate for international surrogacy.
Deputy Higgins said: “It was an honour to serve as the vice-chair on the Oireachtas Committee on International Surrogacy as we came together to examine the difficulties and challenges that parents through surrogacy face and how we can best protect and acknowledge them and their children.
“The amendments agreed will make sure that parents who went through surrogacy and who are not currently legally recognised by the State will be able to apply for parental orders so that they can make decisions for their children. “I know this will be really welcome news for the many parents and advocates we met and engaged with as a committee,” said Deputy Higgins.
“Currently parents in this situation can’t make decisions for their children on things like school trips, medical care, medication, or having their photos taken.
“And in situations where a relationship may break down second parents have been at the mercy of the child’s biological father as to whether get access or custody of their children which can lead to extremely nasty and stressful negotiations for some mothers.
“But now, parents in this situation will be able to go through the court to secure access and custody of their children.
Deputy Higgins continued: I’ve met a number of local families in Dublin Mid West who have been impacted by our old-fashioned laws but now Ireland will have a very high ethical legislative framework to provide protections for families and surrogates when Irish children are born via surrogacy abroad.
“And I have to commend my colleagues in Fine Gael, especially Senator Mary Seery Kearney for her continued hard work in this area to get us to where we are now.
“I hope now that these legislative amendments will move quickly through Oireachtas and we will see the first applications to the Courts being made next year,” concluded Deputy Higgins.