Government to investigate improving rights of LGBT+ families using surrogacy

Following calls for changes, the government has tasked UCC law lecturer Conor O’Mahony to review issues related to the situation.

A close up of a man's hands as he cradles a newborn baby

Following calls for better protection and equal rights for families led by same-sex parents and families using surrogacy and other forms of assisted reproduction, the Government have appointed a special rapporteur to look at the issues and report back early in the year.

Conor O’Mahony, a UCC law lecturer, has been appointed and will provide recommendations after his review. Simon Harris, the Minister for Health, has said he will then amend any forthcoming legislation affected by the review. Said changes would take place when Sections 2 and 3 of the Children and Family Relationships Act come into effect in May.

Recent proposed changes to the Act have meant that some same-sex parents would have both their names on their child’s birth certificate. But not all families – families using surrogacy and other forms of assisted reproduction or those led by two male parents are not included.

Equality For Children recently shared, “From May 5 2020, some children born to LGBT+ families in Ireland, will for the first time be provided with a pathway to have their relationship with their non-biological parent recognised. This means that, for the first time, some children of LGBT+ families will be able to access the same rights as children of heterosexual families in Ireland with regards to their citizenship rights, their passport, their birth certificate, their health, their financial security, their tax status and inheritance rights.

“The long-awaited commencement of the CFRA 2015 will come as an enormous relief to hundreds of LGBT+ families in Ireland who will, after May 2020, be able to sleep at night knowing that their children will no longer face discrimination from the state because their parents are LGBT+.”

The statement continued, “The CFRA provides pathways for children of LGBT+ families to have a legal relationship with both parents if, and only if, they are conceived using a clinic in Ireland, their parents are both women, they use a traceable sperm donor and the child is born in Ireland.”

In November, Simon Harris stated, “It is clear our legislation still needs to evolve. When I met with LGBT families a number of weeks ago, they pointed out the impractical realities of our current laws and while we know some of their issues will be addressed through the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill, there are areas that require some consideration.”

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