Tuesday 17 October 2017

Surrogate's sister wins landmark ruling to be recognised legally as mum of twins

Solicitor Marion Campbell, reading a statement to the media outside the Four Courts on behalf of the parents involved in a High Court action concerning the right to the genetic mothers name on the birth certificate of a child born through surrogacy
Solicitor Marion Campbell, reading a statement to the media outside the Four Courts on behalf of the parents involved in a High Court action concerning the right to the genetic mothers name on the birth certificate of a child born through surrogacy

Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor

THE genetic mother of twin girls born to a surrogate - her sister - has won her landmark High Court bid to be declared the twins' legal mother.

This morning High Court judge Mr Justice Henry Abbott delivered his judgment on whether the genetic parents can be be named as legal parents on the infants' birth certificates.

Judge Abbott granted a number of groundbreaking declarations including that the genetic mother is the legal mother and the couple are entitled to have the particulars of her maternity on the birth certificates.

The married couple, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, took the case after the Chief Registrar refused a request for the genetic mother to be recorded on the birth certificates.

The State opposed the application on the basis that only the birth mother can be viewed as the legal mother.

The couple had sought a declaration from the court on their own behalf and that of the twin girls that they, as genetic parents, are the legal parents.

The sister of the genetic mother in the case supported the couple’s bid to be recognised as the twins' legal parents.

During the hearing, the High Court heard that the woman agreed to act as a surrogate so that her sister, who was unable to carry a child, could have what she had and experience motherhood.

The ruling is expected to be appealed to the Supreme Court.

The case exposed the lack of regulation of assisted human reproduction in Ireland.

After the verdict Marion Campbell, solicitor for the family, said they are delighted with the outcome of today’s hearing.

She said her clients - and their children’s - rights have been vindicated by this judgement

“It has been a very long, hard and emotional time for them and they would like to express their thanks to the support shown to them by their family, friends and legal representatives,” said Ms Campbell.

“It is to be hoped now that much needed legislation in relation to this whole difficult area of surrogacy will be brought in and that children born by surrogacy arrangements will have their rights enshrined in such legislation.”

Ms Campbell said her clients would like their privacy respected and did not wish to make any further comment at this time.

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