Wednesday 13 December 2017

Shatter ‘particularly concerned’ that surrogacy issue omitted from new bill

Deputy Alan Shatter
Deputy Alan Shatter

Jennifer McShane

Former Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said he is “particularly concerned” that the issue of surrogacy has been omitted from the Child and Family Relationships Bill.

The Bill addresses issues such as guardianship rights in relation to unmarried couples, same-sex couples and grandparents, and is to be brought before Cabinet early next week.

Speaking on the Clare Byrne show on RTE Radio One today, Shatter said: "There is a need for the Government to reconsider the complete omission of surrogacy from the Bill.”

He said that he believes there is “no reason why the issue of surrogacy should have been taken out of the Bill,” as the clarification of the rights for surrogates is needed.

Mr Shatter then expressed concern that the referendum on same-sex marriage would not be passed, due to holding the referendum so close to the passing the Bill.

“The referendum on same-sex marriage, should take place before summer,” he said, adding that he was worried the two topics would become inter-linked.

“But I want to see the Marriage Equality referendum successful,” he added.  

He also stressed that the Bill needed to be given adequate time for debate in the Dail, as it addressed “hugely important issues.

“The bill addresses such an important area, and one that will affect all couples in the country, not just same-sex couples. So, it is important the Bill isn’t rushed though and given considerable time for debate in the Dail,” he said.

Independent TD Roisin Shorthall, echoed this sentiment and said on the show: “I’m concerned that this substantial legislation, which is so major, will be rushed through.”

Also speaking on the programme, Bishop Kevin Doran said, “Marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman,” adding that that preference should be given to a male-female relationship.

“The relationship for a child between two men or two women isn’t the same as a heterosexual relationship, which is the prime environment for raising a child,” he added.

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