For the purposes of clarity, the cases to which the Deputy refers are family law cases arising where children are born as a result of surrogacy arrangements entered into outside the state, previously referred to in Parliamentary Question No. 229 of 2 April 2019.
The Attorney General is the notice party to the cases referred to in my answer to that question, and these cases are managed on behalf of the Attorney General by the Office of the Chief State Solicitor. The Minister for Justice and Equality is not named as a notice party to these cases. My Department’s involvement in these cases relates to having responsibility for the Status of Children Act 1987 pursuant to which applications for declarations of parentage are made.
The Deputy will appreciate that I cannot provide accurate details on a year by year basis of cases to which the State is a notice party, as the CSSO does not fall within my remit. My Department will not know at any given time the exact numbers of cases which the CSSO has on hands, as it can take some time for papers to be forwarded to this Department and other relevant Departments by the CSSO. It may also take some time for my Department to be informed when cases have been finalised.
Since 2012, my Department has been notified of proceedings in relation to a total of 108 cases of the type referred to by the Deputy, 76 of which are now finalised. Some of these cases involved multiple births which were dealt with in one set of proceedings.