Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Thursday, 19 May 2022
Joint Oireachtas Committee on International Surrogacy
Preventing the Sale, Exploitation and Trafficking of Children: Discussion
I want to say categorically that I have no desire for the surrogate mother’s name, or her existence, or a relationship with her, to be obliterated under any circumstances. However, a child has to produce a birth certificate when going to school. There are many instances in our lives when we have to produce our birth certificates. The birth certificate may be produced in a different country because this is international surrogacy. It will have the intending parents listed on it. The child’s passport will list the place of birth of that child, though their nationality will be preserved on the passport as Irish but the place of birth will be listed as the different country that is consistent with the birth certificate.
We cannot legislate for the information that goes onto a birth certificate in a foreign country for a start because we do not have the jurisdictional reach to do that. I concur with where the Chair was going on the point of having two registers. It would preserve in a formal, legal way an obligation on parents who pursue surrogacy to ensure that a child has a mechanism. One would hope that parents would not rely on a register and that they would tell their child from birth anyway. Yet, that latter end has left an anomaly that is not in the best interests of the child because it will expose that child, or someone who may not be in the daily life of that child, to that. For instance, if we produce a birth certificate in the child’s school and Jennifer's name is on it, rather than Mary, the school might suddenly become aware of something going on. They might ask if these are not parents of the child, and what the position of this mother is. I am not sure that that is in the best interest of the child and, therefore, yes, I am boiling it down to that.