Oireachtas committee to make recommendations on international surrogacy
A special joint Oireachtas committee is being established by ministers to make recommendations on international surrogacy.
There is currently no regulation of surrogacy, either altruistic or commercial, in Ireland. The Health (Assisted Human Reproduction) Bill will regulate surrogacy within Ireland, but most surrogacies undertaken by Irish people are believed to be commercial arrangements undertaken outside the State.
Further legislative proposals could be submitted to the Cabinet based on the committee’s report, which is expected within three months, with the possibility of an extension.
Justice minister Helen McEntee said: “Groups representing parents and intending parents have consistently called for government to bring forward legislative provisions to provide for parental status in Ireland in international surrogacy arrangements.
“In addressing issues arising from international surrogacy, care must be taken to ensure that the rights, interests and welfare of all persons involved in international surrogacy arrangements – children born through surrogacy, surrogate mothers, parents and intending parents – are considered.
“I believe that the cross-party special joint Oireachtas committee that we have agreed to establish is best placed to examine all of the complex issues surrounding international surrogacy and to make recommendations based on the analysis of that evidence.
“I know how important this issue is for many families in Ireland. Recognising this, the timeframe in which we are asking the committee to complete its work is ambitious. The cooperation of colleagues across the Houses of the Oireachtas is very much appreciated and I look forward to engaging with the members of the committee when established and to the outcomes of their work.”
Roderic O’Gorman, minister for children, equality, disability, integration and youth, said: “Given both the sensitivities and complexities involved, issues relating to international surrogacy arrangements require great care and attention.
“By establishing a special joint Oireachtas committee, we are ensuring that these issues will receive thorough and transparent consideration, and I look forward to working with minister McEntee and minister Donnelly as we progress this.”
Health minister Stephen Donnelly said: “This government is committed to legislating for surrogacy in Ireland and my department is already advancing legislation on domestic surrogacy.
“This is an important step in recognising and supporting the variety of different family units we have here. Together with my colleagues across government and now, with the members of the proposed Oireachtas committee, I look forward to progressing this important issue.”