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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 22 May, 2018

State to appeal ruling in landmark 'surrogate birth cert' case

The High Court had allowed a biological mother to be included on her child’s birth cert, even though it was carried by a surrogate.

Image: gpoo via Flickr

THE STATE is to lodge a Supreme Court appeal against a landmark ruling which allowed a biological mother to have her name included on her child’s birth certificate, even though the child was carried and delivered by a surrogate mother.

The Department of Social Protection has confirmed that the Registrar General, against whom the original case was taken, will appeal the ruling.

The purpose of the appeal is “to clarify a number of points of law of exceptional public importance”, the Department said.

In a ruling in April, the High Court’s Justice Henry Abbott ruled that the genetic mother of twins who were born to a surrogate mother could be listed as the mother on each of the children’s birth certificates.

The case came after the Registrar General required the children’s birth mother – in this case, the genetic mother’s sister – to be stated as the mother.

“The judgement raises important questions about how motherhood may be determined under Irish law and has potentially very serious consequences which could, by linking motherhood exclusively to genetic connection, affect a potentially large number of families,” the Department said.

The Department argued that the ruling could also limit the Oireachtas’s ability to legislate, in future, for the complex areas of surrogacy and assisted human reproduction. Legislation in this area was being planned for later this year, it said.

“The appeal is therefore considered necessary both to bring certainty to this vital area of law and to ensure that the legislature’s scope to legislate is absolutely clear.”

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Gavan Reilly

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