Some 106 emergency travel certificates have been issued since 2011 to children born abroad as a result of surrogacy arrangements to enable them travel to Ireland, the Medical Independent (MI) can reveal.
In 2016 alone, 25 emergency travel certificates were issued, 13 to children born in India and 12 to children born in the Ukraine, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Officials at the Department of Health are drafting the General Scheme of legislative provisions on assisted human reproduction (AHR) and associated research, which will include provisions related to surrogacy.
Government guidance on children born as a result of surrogacy arrangements entered into outside of the State notes that the woman who gives birth to the child is the legal mother under Irish law.
The proposed legislation will establish a mechanism for transfer of parentage from the surrogate to the intending parents. It is envisaged that, under the surrogacy provisions, at least one of the intending parents will have to be genetically related to the child.
Surrogacy will be permitted on an altruistic basis, although the reimbursement of defined and receiptable reasonable expenses will be allowed, it is planned.
Commercial surrogacy will be prohibited due to concerns raised in relation to “the welfare of the children, the potential for financial coercion and the risk of the exploitation of financially vulnerable women”.
If Irish citizens avail of surrogacy in another jurisdiction, the procedure “would need to abide by the relevant legislation and regulations that apply in that jurisdiction, which would include the relevant provisions (if any) pertaining to commercial surrogacy”, according to the Department.