Families come in all shapes and sizes and are created in many ways. For a variety of reasons, some people or couples may consider Surrogacy to be the preferred option for having children.
The fact that there is no Irish Legislation to cover the legal issues arising from Surrogacy may cause concern for many people considering this journey. Unfortunately, this remains the case. To address this “legal Vacuum” the status and rights of all parties are addressed by a reimagining of existing legal provisions. Proposals for legislation to regularise matters have been in existence for many years. However, the steps necessary to enact this legislation have not yet been taken.
While the legal process involved will depend on the circumstances of each case, at present, it will involve applications to Court following the birth of the child. Following a consultation with you, we will be able to set out the path which we expect your case to take to determine your legal status as a “family”.
People consider the option of Surrogacy for many reasons which may include issues with fertility or uterine issues. A pre-existing health condition may prevent or make a pregnancy difficult or impossible, or problems with a previous pregnancy may make a further pregnancy impossible or ill advised. If you have undergone a hysterectomy as a result of cancer then surrogacy may be an option, or indeed you may arrive at the decision from lifestyle or logistical limitations that you face. Surrogacy may be an option for LGBTQ couples or single parents.
On the 28th of February 2022 the Department of Health announced cabinet approval for the publication of the Health (Assisted Human Reproduction) Bill 2022. This is the first stage in the Bill becoming law.
The Bill will regulate domestic altruistic surrogacy (where the surrogate can only be paid reasonable expenses) but will not recognise surrogacy arrangements in other jurisdictions such as Ukraine and some US states.
Embarking on a journey to parenthood through Surrogacy can be emotionally challenging. At Padhraic Harris & Company Solicitors, we are familiar with the process required to protect the legal status of all parties. We are here to assist you in this Journey.