Tuesday, 22 November 2016
Department of Health
In February 2015, the then Minister for Health received Government approval to draft a General Scheme of legislative provisions for assisted human reproduction (AHR) and associated research. The proposed AHR legislation will include specific provisions relating to surrogacy and the assignment of parentage in such cases.
The proposed legislation will take cognisance of the 2014 Supreme Court judgment in the MR & Anor v An tArd Chláraitheoir & Ors (surrogacy) case, which found that the birth mother, rather than the genetic mother, is the legal mother. It is envisaged that the legislation will establish a mechanism for transfer of parentage from the surrogate (and her husband, if she has one) to the intending parents.
In addition, it is envisaged that under the surrogacy provisions, at least one of the intending parents will have to be genetically related to the child. Surrogacy will be permitted on an altruistic basis where the payment of defined and receiptable reasonable expenses will be allowed, however, commercial surrogacy will be prohibited.
It is the intention that the legislation in this area will protect, promote and ensure the health and safety of parents, others involved in the process (such as donors and surrogate mothers) and, most importantly, the children who will be born as a result of AHR.
Drafting of the General Scheme is in progress and it is envisaged this will be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2017. Once the General Scheme is complete, I intend to submit it to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children for pre-legislative scrutiny.