Sunday 11 December 2016

Surrogacy must be addressed with care

Published 19/05/2015 | 02:30

ustice Minister Frances Fitzgerald insists the new laws will be “very strict” and commercial surrogacy will be illegal
ustice Minister Frances Fitzgerald insists the new laws will be “very strict” and commercial surrogacy will be illegal

Just as thatching on a windy day comes with a caution, so too does rushing to find quick fixes for complex issues, as the clock ticks in the marriage referendum. The latest proposals in the furore over surrogacy could see couples wishing to have a child through surrogacy go before a court to get permission. One must sympathise with a Government evidently reacting in a fevered climate to address the blizzard of concerns that have been raised on the issue of surrogacy.

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But given that there is no legislation on surrogacy, it is hard to see the rush to cobble something together as anything other than panic. Surrogacy comes with myriad difficult legal and moral questions that must be teased out. Solutions need to be weighed and considered and - given that we have waited this long - there is nothing to be gained by precipitous action.

In drafting a legal framework it is far more important to get it right, rather than to get it right now. Just as the Adoption Authority has played a positive role in family life a similar State body overseeing surrogacy might have a similar role.

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