The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage and Local Fingal TD, Darragh O’Brien has hosted a meeting of the Irish Families through Surrogacy organisation and members of the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party.
Irish Families through Surrogacy are a non-profit association of parents who have had children through surrogacy. They are campaigning for children born through surrogacy to have a legally recognised relationship with both parents.
Last year Portmarnock couple Sinead and Mark Gallagher-Hedderman detailed their very difficult journey when it came to international surrogacy and the pandemic. They bravely told their story and outlined the challenges they faced and still continue to face.
Minister O’Brien hosted the online meeting last week where Irish Families through Surrogacy representatives outlined the challenges they experience every single day and their efforts to have a legally recognised relationship with their children.
Commenting Minister O’Brien said, “Over the past year I have met with representatives of ‘Irish Families through Surrogacy’ a number of times and I want to help in any way that I can.
“There has been substantial work and engagement on this issue since the formation of the Government between Ministers Helen McEntee, Stephen Donnelly and Roderic O’Gorman and the Attorney General and their respective officials.
“At Cabinet recently I strongly supported the establishment of a time limited Special Joint Oireachtas Committee to consider the issue of international surrogacy, including issues arising from commercial international surrogacy, and to report with recommendations. I am happy to say this Committee will get underway in a matter of weeks.
“The recommendations of the Special Joint Oireachtas Committee will then be taken into account by the Minister for Health as the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill progresses through the legislative process. Specifically, it is expected that any necessary legislative provisions which arise out of the report of the Special Joint Oireachtas Committee will be inserted into the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill at committee stage.
“While the Department of Health has responsibility for the forthcoming Health (Assisted Human Reproduction) Bill, issues which arise from international surrogacy, including commercial surrogacy in other jurisdictions, raise important questions in respect of rights and ethics, and concern areas of law that intersect across the remits of several Government Departments and I will be keeping in contact with my Cabinet colleagues as this matter progresses,” he concluded.
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