Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Joint Oireachtas Committee on International Surrogacy

Preventing the Sale, Exploitation and Trafficking of Children: Discussion

Ms Tanya Ward:

If a birth certificate is issued in another country and the commissioning parents are named on it, that is a fact and that is what is going to happen. That is what it is. We just have to recognise that. It is hard for us to disagree with the UN special rapporteur, because she is part of the UN infrastructure and she is saying that it should be part of the birth certificate.

We obviously have the power to issue birth certificates in this country. She is saying it should be part of the birth certificate issued in this country because it is a legal fact, in addition to being a protection for identity and a protection against the sale and exploitation of children down the road. She is looking at it from that perspective. She is sticking to a few core principles, when she looks at what is happening in this space globally.

I agree there is an issue with privacy. I know someone with an adoption certificate. One of the things people get a shock about is when an individual has an adoption certificate. My biological mother is named on it but people do not realise that. I understand what happens is children experience schools asking how come they have this. It opens the door to some interference in the child's life. I wonder is there another way to deal with this that is between short and long birth certificates. Are there other ways to show the legal fact is the legal fact? The short birth certificate might be a practical way around it.


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