Thursday 19 October 2017

Deirdre Madden: Delays over surrogacy has led to needless suffering for families

Deirdre Madden

IN a case decided by the High Court this week, the legal basis for the determination of maternity was successfully challenged by a couple who are the genetic parents of twins carried by the woman's sister. In a landmark ruling, the judge decided that legal maternity should be determined on the basis of genetics and that therefore the genetic parents were entitled to have their names on the children's birth certificates.

The recognition of the genetic parents as the legal parents is without doubt the right outcome in this case as it conforms with the realities of this family's situation, the best interests of the children, and the intention of all those involved in bringing the children into the world.

However, the challenge now is to try to assess how the ruling might apply if the facts were different such as, for example, if the birth mother changed her mind and refused to relinquish custody of the child.

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