The genetic mother of twins born through a surrogate pregnancy has won her court battle to be declared the legal mother on the children’s birth certificates.
In this landmark case the genetic mother defeated the Irish government. In the past Ireland had refused the mother’s demands to be recorded as a parent on the children’s birth certs. The Irish State’s defense for their stance had been the 1937 constitution, which states that the woman who gives birth to the baby is recorded as the mother.
On Tuesday Dublin High Court Justice Henry Abbott said that these 1937 laws governing birth certificates and parentage needed to be updated to reflect the growing use of artificial insemination, embryo implantation, and other fertility techniques.
The genetic mother in question, whose identity is withheld under Irish law, had been declared medically unable to carry her child. Her sister volunteered to serve as a surrogate mother.
Marion Campbell, lawyer for the parents, told RTE, Ireland’s State broadcaster, that they are delighted with the outcome.
Campbell said, “It has been a very long, hard and emotional time for them and they would like to express their thanks for the support shown to them by their family, friends and legal representatives.
“It is to be hoped now that much-needed legislation in relation to this whole difficult area of surrogacy and that children born by surrogacy arrangements will have their rights enshrined in such legislation."
The Irish Stem Cell Foundation said the need for this court case showed the Government's continuing dysfunction with regard to proactively legislating on medicine and science. The foundation maintains the lack of such law has profound effects for Irish citizens.