Saturday 19 April 2014

Legislation on surrogate babies badly needed, says leading fertility expert

A CONSULTANT obstetrician says she is disappointed that Irish legislation still does not allow for surrogacy.

Dr Mary Wingfield, clinical director of the Merrion Fertility Clinic which is attached to the National Maternity Hospital at Holles Street, said seven years on from a high-level state commission into assisted human reproduction and none of its recommendations have been introduced.

She was giving evidence at a landmark case before the High Court in which the genetic parents of twins born to a surrogate are seeking to have the name of the "mother" corrected on the birth certificate.

"I'm very, very disappointed. I think we so badly need legislation with regards to assisted human reproduction.

"It's tragic that a couple have to resort to the High Court to resolve issues like this. It's not right," she added.

Dr Wingfield said she was of the opinion that in cases where the genetic material is supplied by the commissioning couple to a surrogate, then "parentage should lie with the commissioning couple".

She agreed with senior counsel for the couple, Gerry Durcan, that the lack of legislation has left prospective parents "in a vacuum".

The court earlier heard from Registrar General Kieran Feely that his office has no guidelines when it comes to how the birth of children born to a surrogate should be registered.

The case continues.

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