Surrogacy in Ireland is unregulated and this is the first thing that you need to keep in your mind while planning your surrogacy journey there. That said, the association with a trusted surrogacy agency in Ireland is quite crucial for the overall success of your surrogacy process.
That said, we can talk about some good news for the intended parents in Ireland. Following Cabinet approval of new regulations, the government is thinking of regulating International surrogacy, and families will be able to apply for retroactive parental recognition.
Moreover, both commercial and altruistic surrogacy is currently unregulated in Ireland. Besides, the majority of surrogacy arrangements are carried out through contractual agreements abroad, frequently in countries like Ukraine, Canada and the USA.
Intended parents must know that the proposed laws call for the introduction of a two-step procedure compulsory for the intended parents involving pre-conception permission from the Assisted Human Reproduction Regulatory Authority (AHRRA). The laws would also involve a post-birth court process in order to obtain a parental order to further recognize parentage in future international surrogacy arrangements.
On the other hand, the legal requirements in the country where the surrogacy is performed as well as additional requirements that will be specified in the legislation must be met by families looking to engage in international surrogacy arrangements. Besides, the requirements for domestic surrogacy arrangements will be met by these measures.
Besides, payable expenses with receipts will be reimbursed to surrogate mothers and the costs will further cover lost wages, particular foods, and supplements. Stephen Donnelly, the minister of health, said following the Cabinet meeting last year that the program “can cover things like not being able to work, all medical expenses, that any agencies involved would have a fee.” Besides, there won’t be a cap on those expenses, he claimed.
What are the proposed laws for Surrogacy in Ireland?
The government has further stated that more measures will be put in place for the limited-time retrospective recognition of parentage in the case of both overseas surrogacy and domestic surrogacy. Besides, this includes requirements that the surrogacy was not prohibited in the region in which it occurred, that it was a gestational surrogacy only—meaning the surrogate mother did not supply the egg—and that the surrogate mother in Ireland consented to the issuance of a parental order.
Additionally, the law will effectively sever the surrogate mother’s previous parental rights to the child she gave birth to. That said, the decision by the government comes after Mr Donnelly, Roderic O’Gorman, Helen McEntee, and others formed an interdepartmental group to draft new legislation in response to the summer report of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on International Surrogacy.
According to the committee’s recommendations, parental orders and guidelines should be established to officially recognize international surrogacy in Ireland. Besides, the Oireachtas is debating a bill on assisted human reproduction (AHR) that would include legislation for domestic surrogacy. In the upcoming year, at the committee stage, the new surrogacy legislation proposals will be added.
According to Mr Donnelly, the Government has embraced 30 of the joint committee’s report’s 32 recommendations. Also, the final few have undergone minor technical modifications, he claimed.
“It gives me the utmost honour to present this. Ireland has been a welcoming country for many parents and their kids, but it has also been a place where they have had to live in uncertainty.
Government is adamant to bring regulations regarding surrogacy in Ireland
Mr Donnelly responded to Mr Justice John Jordan’s criticism on Tuesday, saying it was “an unusual comment on a day when Government has just brought through a memo, quite a historic memo, that deals with all of these issues,” adding that he is not sure legislators understand the “true need for expedition” when dealing with the introduction of a law to regularize and recognize international surrogacy. “This Government is taking this very, very seriously, I can assure you of that. This is intricate, constitutional law.
All ethical issues, according to Mr Donnelly, have been resolved. “To ensure that all necessary protections are in place, we have now undergone a very drawn-out process between the three departments and the attorney general’s office. First and foremost, the child, the surrogate, and the intended parents need to be protected. I am sure that the protections that have been agreed upon provide the necessary level of security for everything.
Existing Challenges for intended parents during Surrogacy
- The surrogate mother holds the power
Given the unregulated nature of surrogacy in Ireland, the surrogate mother holds the biggest power during a surrogacy procedure. Regardless of who is offering their gametes for the conception, the surrogate mother and the intended father will stand as the legal parents of the born child.
Moreover, the intended mother then needs to apply for the adoption process which would take some good time to execute. So, in order to obtain custody of the child born via surrogacy, you must be ready to go through every such challenge.
Besides, you can connect with a reputed surrogacy agency that can ease up things a bit on your way through. Moreover, they can connect with the surrogate mother that is highly cooperative and the best fit for the role as per your expectations.
- Fewer supportive laws for the intended parents
While surrogacy is largely unregulated in Ireland, you won’t find laws to be highly supportive of the intended parents. Up until now, the intended parents are at the behest of the surrogate mother who can deny the custody of the child as per her will anytime during the surrogacy process.
On the other hand, the family laws of the country don’t define proper guidelines regarding parentage. So, to proceed with a legalized and streamlined surrogacy agreement is truly a hectic task in the country. Also, due to the unregulated nature of surrogacy in the country, the surrogacy agreement is legally unenforceable in this part of the world.
As of now, even if the intended mother is giving her eggs for conception, there is currently no path to legal parentage for her. This is so because motherhood in Irish law is determined by birth rather than genetics. Besides, there is a pathway to guardianship for parents, but it expires at age 18.
Hence, these newly proposed laws may come as a sigh of relief for many intended parents for not only Irish couples but every couple across the globe.