The Government must listen to the views of “experts, parents and public opinion” on international surrogacy, according to the Assisted Human Reproduction Coalition.
It comes ahead of the final meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on International Surrogacy.
The Committee has heard from a host of families, interest groups and experts over the past two months and will hold its final meeting this afternoon.
Its members will then draft a report with their recommendations for Government.
The AHR Coalition is urging Government to include international surrogacy in the Assisted Human Reproduction (AHR) Bill and to ensure all Irish children have a legal relationship with their genetic mother or father.
Equality for Children CEO Ranae von Meding told Newstalk she is confident the committee will answer the group’s call – and urged the Government to implement its recommendations in full.
“We are very confident that the committee is going to make excellent recommendations but what we need to ensure is that the Government actually takes on-board those recommendations and actually implements them into the draft Human Reproduction Bill,” she said.
“Because if they don’t, this entire process will have been in vain.”
She said the legislation must protect all children born through surrogacy.
“We are asking the Government to legislate in order to protect all children already born through surrogacy and in addition to that, to legislate for international surrogacy and domestic surrogacy,” she said.
“We need a situation where there is no child, no parents and no family left out of any legislation.”
Currently, Irish legislation only recognises the male who is genetically linked to the child and the female who gives birth to the child.
The situation leaves women who are genetically the mother of the child but did not give birth with no legal rights.
The Assisted Human Reproduction (AHR) Bill is expected to change the law for children born through domestic surrogacy; however, there have been question marks over whether the changes will extend to international surrogacy.
**National research reveals overwhelming public support for international surrogacy legislation** @DonnellyStephen @MichealMartinTD @LeoVaradkar @HMcEntee @rodericogorman @SenatorKeogan @RonanMullen @Toibin1 @LorrCliff @Kathleensf1 @SeeryKearney @WhitmoreJen @JenMurnaneOConn pic.twitter.com/cCmOlFOFPZ
— Irish Families Through Surrogacy (@IrishFamiliesTS) June 8, 2022
Yesterday, the coalition published a new survey suggesting 81% of Irish adults support the inclusion of international surrogacy in the upcoming bill.
Meanwhile, 80% of Irish adults believe a child should have the right to a legal relationship to their genetic parents.
Thirdly, more than one in 10 Irish people have had or know someone who has had a child via surrogacy.
The survey was conducted by research agency iReach Insights amongst a nationally-representative sample of 1,000 Irish adults.
AHR Coalition Chair Elaine Cohalan clearly shows that the vast majority of Irish people strongly support the inclusion of international surrogacy in the upcoming bill.
She said the Government must now listen to the feedback and include international surrogacy in the legislation.
The AHR Bill is currently on its third reading before Dáil Éireann aims to provide a legal framework for surrogacy and ensure that the law governing IVF matches international best practices.
However, it does not currently contain any provisions for international surrogacy.
Over the weekend, the Health Minister Stephen Donnelly was criticised for comments on the bill.
The Assisted Human Reproduction Coalition is made up of host of member organisations advocating for the inclusion of international surrogacy in the Assisted Human Reproduction (AHR) bill.
It includes the National Infertility Support and Information Group, Irish Families Through Surrogacy, Irish Gay Dads, Independent Living Movement Ireland, Equality for Children and LGBT Ireland. coalition is advocating for the inclusion of international surrogacy in the Assisted Human Reproduction (AHR) bill.