As the Deputy will be aware, the Government approved the drafting of a Bill on assisted human reproduction (AHR) and associated areas of research in October last year. In the context of developing the General Scheme of the AHR Bill, officials in my Department engaged with colleagues from a number of other Departments, including the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, to ensure that the proposed legislation is developed in a coherent way within the existing legislative framework.
The surrogacy provisions in the General Scheme set out a court-based mechanism through which the parentage of a child born through surrogacy may be transferred from the surrogate (and her husband, if applicable) to the intending parent(s). If a Parental Order is granted by the court, the intending parents would be declared to be the legal parents of the child and they would subsequently be issued with a "surrogacy certificate" that would replace the original birth certificate. This is a similar procedure to the mechanism which deals with the civil registration of children who are adopted, whereby an adoption certificate replaces the original birth certificate.