The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence announces the publication of guidance for Irish couples on surrogacy arrangements made abroad

The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Mr Alan Shatter, T.D. today published a Guidance Document on citizenship, parentage, guardianship and travel document issues in relation to children born as a result of surrogacy arrangements entered into outside the State. The Guidance Document provides information to people who intend to enter surrogacy arrangements outside the State on the practical and legal considerations arising under Irish law where the commissioning parents intend to bring the child to live with them in the State.

The steps that commissioning parents need to undertake to safeguard the welfare of a child born outside the State through surrogacy are set out in the Guidance Document. The Document gives information on:

- how parentage is established,

- how citizenship may be established,

- what other information is required in order for travel documents to issue for the child where sufficient evidence of parentage and citizenship is provided,

- the undertakings that will be required of the commissioning parents in relation to obtaining guardianship and notifying their local health centre of the child’s presence in the State, so that the welfare of the child is protected.

Minister Shatter said "The purpose of this Guidance Document is to provide information to prospective commissioning parents on the steps necessary to ensure that a child born abroad through a surrogacy arrangement may enter and reside in the State and to secure the best interests of the child. The Guidance addresses the practical and legal considerations arising in relation to surrogacy arrangements, some of which need to be dealt with very shortly after the birth of a child.

The law relating to parenthood and guardianship rights in the context of surrogacy is complex. I intend to develop legislative proposals in this area in collaboration with the Department of Health, taking into account developments in the law of other jurisdictions, and practical experience in dealing with surrogacy cases."

The Guidance Document was developed by the Departments of Justice and Equality, Health, Children and Youth Affairs, Foreign Affairs and Trade, Social Protection and the Office of the Attorney General. It is available at www.justice.ie and will also published on the websites of each relevant Department.

21 February, 2012

ENDS

Link to the document (PDF 306KB)