Genetic mother wins birth rights
Published 05/03/2013 | 13:11
The genetic mother of twins born to a surrogate is said to be relieved and delighted after a winning a landmark case in Ireland to be recognised on their birth certificates.
The High Court in Dublin ruled in favour of the woman, whose sister had given birth to the children using the woman's embryos. She had taken the ground-breaking case challenging the refusal of the chief registrar of births, deaths and marriages to record her name on the birth certificates.
Outside the court Marion Campbell, the woman's solicitor, said the official documents can now be amended to reflect the true position that the genetic mother should be legally recognised as the children's mother.
"We are delighted with the outcome of today's hearing," she said.
"My clients and their children's rights have been vindicated by this judgment. 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 will be brought in and that children born by way of surrogacy arrangements will have their rights enshrined in such legislation."
Ms Campbell said the judgment in effect means that the genetic mother will be legally recognised as the birth mother by the registrar.
The family at the centre of the case had argued that the state denied them the right to be a legal family by refusing to recognise the genetic or biological mother. Their lawyers claimed the state was seeking to ignore the biological truth.
But at a hearing in January, lawyers for the state said there was no provision to record the biological or genetic mother in cases of surrogacy.
The court case and judgment, delivered by Mr Justice Henry Abbott, were held in camera, with just a small number of reporters granted permission to cover the proceedings in the usually closed-doors family court. The surrogate mother was not objecting to the couple's application.