Tuesday, 12 October 2021
Department of Health
Assisted Human Reproduction
476. To ask the Minister for Health if he plans to amend the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 to address the current barriers to both parents in families who have children via surrogacy to have an equal legal relationship with their children as those enjoyed by families who do not need to use surrogacy; and the status of the ongoing work on preparing the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill 2017. [49139/21]
The Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 (the Act of 2015) reforms and updates family law to address the needs of children living in diverse family types. The Minister for Health is responsible for Parts 2 & 3 of the Act of 2015 and these Parts commenced on 4 May 2020. Parts 2 & 3 deal with the issue of donor-assisted human reproduction.
Subject to certain conditions, the provisions of Parts 2 & 3 of the Act of 2015 provide for the parentage of donor-conceived children born after the commencement of Parts 2 & 3 and retrospective declarations of parentage for donor-conceived children born prior to the commencement of Parts 2 & 3.
The Act of 2015 does not make provisions in relation to the regulation of surrogacy. Provisions relating to domestic altruistic surrogacy are included in the forthcoming assisted human reproduction (AHR) legislation. The surrogacy provisions outline a court-based mechanism through which the parentage of a child born through surrogacy may be transferred from the surrogate to the intending parent(s).
Drafting of the bill on AHR and associated areas of research is ongoing by officials in my Department, in conjunction with the Office of the Attorney General. I can assure the Deputy that publication of this legislation is a priority for my Department and the Government, and a commitment to enact this legislation is included in the Programme for Government, “Our Shared Future”. My Department and the Office of the Attorney General continue to prioritise the drafting of this complex legislation and will engage intensively over the next few months to finalise the Bill.