Judgment in surrogacy case due next month

Friday 22 February 2013 16.21
Genetic parents of twin took case after they were refused request to be named on birth certificate
Genetic parents of twin took case after they were refused request to be named on birth certificate

The High Court will deliver judgment in a landmark surrogacy case  next month.

Mr Justice Henry Abbott said he will deliver judgment on whether or not a genetic mother of twins born to a surrogate can be named on their birth certificates on 5 March.

The genetic parents of the children took the case after the Chief Registrar refused a request for the genetic mother to be recorded on the birth certificates.

The State is opposing the application on the basis that only the birth mother can be viewed as the legal mother.

Lawyers for the State told the court earlier this year that the 1983 abortion amendment to the Constitution made it "absolutely clear" that the mother of a child was the woman who gave birth to the child.

Lawyers for the family submitted they were being deprived of their right to be part of a constitutional family while the State fails to recognise their biological mother.

Senior Counsel Gerard Durkan said the State's failure to recognise the genetic mother, who provided the embryo with her husband, was a failure to protect and vindicate their constitutional rights to form a legal family.

He said in opposing their application the State was effectively asking the court to "ignore the biological truth" and "tear up a scientific test" required in legislation to establish parentage.

The children were entitled to the protection and security of a legal family, regardless of how they were conceived and born, he added.

Mr Durkan also said the genetic mother in this case had provided the egg and fulfilled the role of mother in every aspect since birth.

For registration purposes parentage for males turned solely on genetic factors, but for females it did not and that that created a discrimination.

There was no justification for this discrimination, he added.