Families protest over surrogacy legislation delay

Campaigners had previously been given assurances international surrogacy would be included in the new legislation.
Families protest over surrogacy legislation delay

Families concerned over the Governments handling of surrogacy legislation held a protest outside the Dáil on Tuesday.

Parents of children born through surrogacy are calling for a guarantee that new surrogacy legislation will recognise them as the legal mother or father of their child.

Concerns have been raised that the Government's Assisted Human Reproduction Bill will exclude international surrogacy, leaving families and children without any legal protection.

Campaigners had previously been given assurances international surrogacy would be included in the new legislation.

Advocates have said if international surrogacy is not covered under new laws, it will have a significant impact on families as 95 per cent of Irish children who are born through surrogacy are born abroad.

Currently, under Irish legislation, only biological fathers can be recognised as a parent. Their partners must wait two years before applying to be a legal guardian of their child.

Speaking to Newstalk, Michelle Fahey shared her concern over not being recognised a legal guardian of her son Joey.

"If me and my husband broke up, I have no right to him, I haven't got a leg to stand on," Ms Fahey said.

"He can take him and I have no fight, things like that people don't realise.

"Or if my husband died, and he willed everything to me, and then I will it to Joey, he pays inheritance tax on every single thing.

"But if I die and will it to my husband he doesn't, because it's his biological son."

At the demonstration, Irish Families Through Surrogacy presented a letter to the Taoiseach and Ministers outlining their frustration at the lack of progress in legislating for the issue.

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