The establishment of a special joint Oireachtas committee to examine issues around international surrogacy has been announced.

The committee's terms of reference, seen by RTÉ News, state that consideration will be required regarding the rights, interests and welfare of children born through international surrogacy.

Assisted human reproduction legislation is currently being drafted by the Department of Health in conjunction with the Office of the Attorney General.

The draft Bill does not contain provisions to regulate surrogacy arrangements undertaken in other jurisdictions.

Concerns were raised by Irish Families Through Surrogacy and other groups, that the draft Assisted Human Reproduction Bill would exclude international surrogacy and leave families and children without any legal protection.

A report of the Special Rapporteur on Child Protection Conor O'Mahony also raised questions about parentage and the right to identity in donor-assisted human reproduction and surrogacy in this jurisdiction and abroad.

Recommendations of the committee will be considered by the Minister for Health as the AHR Bill progresses through the legislative process.

It is expected that necessary legislative provisions which arise out of the committee's examination will be inserted into the AHR Bill at committee stage.

The committee will have three months to consider and make recommendations on measures regarding Irish children who are born via surrogates abroad.

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Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Professor O'Mahony said the biggest issue is that surrogacy is completely unregulated in Irish law.

"There is no legal recognition of the relationships and this creates practical difficulties and inequalities for those families with respect to their ability to make decisions for their children and to raise them in a way other parents would."

Prof O'Mahony said there is also an issue with donor assisted reproduction where "we do have laws but there are some gaps where some families are excluded by those laws. So we need to go back and revisit those as well."

He said having no laws regulating surrogacy also creates more risk in terms of potential child trafficking and international bodies have called on Ireland to address that risk.