Houses of the Oireachtas

All parliamentary debates are now being published on our new website. The publication of debates on this website will cease in December 2018.

Go to oireachtas.ie

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 755 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 198 Next Page Last Page

 158.  Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy  asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter  the citizenship status of children born outside the State whose fathers are of Irish citizenship but who are born to surrogate mothers who are not of Irish citizenship; if a mechanism, framework or other measure exists which would allow such children to become citizens of Ireland; if so, the requirements that must be satisfied in order to avail thereof; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7376/12]

 159.  Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy  asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter  the current status of the production of guidelines by him on the issue of legal guardianship as it relates to children born through surrogacy; the timeframe within which such guidelines are likely to be completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7380/12]

 163.  Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan Information on Maureen O'Sullivan Zoom on Maureen O'Sullivan  asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter  his plans to introduce legislation which will address issues surrounding surrogacy; if the proposed legislation will address issues such as legal guardianship, the recognition of genetic relation to determine legal guardianship to a child born to surrogacy; if the proposed legislation will address those children already born to surrogacy and resident here but who are not legally recognised by the State; if legislation will ensure that children born to surrogacy will receive the same legal treatment as children born to birth parents in Ireland as well as respected equally in terms of children and human rights; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7402/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I propose to take Questions Nos. 158, 159 and 163 together.

I refer the Deputy to my response to Question Number 497 of 31st January 2012, in which I stated:

“The law as it stands allows children born through surrogacy arrangements to acquire Irish citizenship, provided the commissioning father is the biological father of the child. Such a father may apply to court for a declaration of paternity under section 35 of the Status of Children Act 1987. Once paternity is established the child can be determined to be an Irish citizen.

[176]Establishment of paternity also allows the father to apply for a guardianship order which requires and enables him to exercise full legal responsibility for the child including decision-making on the child’s health and medical treatment, upbringing and education.

Given the complex way in which existing law, domestic and international, applies to surrogacy matters, a guidance document for people who are considering arranging for a surrogate mother to give birth to a child outside the State has been prepared by an interdepartmental group in consultation with me and the Office of the Attorney General. I expect that the guidance document will be published shortly.”

I have already indicated that I intend in due course to develop proposals for legislation on surrogacy to deal with matters concerning the legal relationships of commissioning adults with children born through surrogacy. In developing these legislative proposals the welfare and best interests of children will be key considerations.


Last Updated: 04/04/2015 17:10:31 First Page Previous Page Page of 198 Next Page Last Page