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High Court in Ireland to hear 'unique' surrogacy case

14 November 2016
Appeared in BioNews 877

The Irish High Court will hear a case in January to determine the legal status of a child born through an international surrogacy arrangement to whom the intended parents have no genetic connection.

The issue was identified after the intended parents applied to bring the child into the country but were told that, because of an absence of a genetic connection, they would need to make the child a ward of court. The Irish Times reports that the father believed the child was his. The child has since been allowed into Ireland on 'humanitarian grounds', reports RTE.

Making the child a ward of court last September, Mr Justice Michael Moriarty described the case as unique and exceptional. The wardship will last until a full hearing is conducted early next year, after the case was adjourned earlier this month when lawyers for the Irish Government, which supported the application for wardship, told the High Court that further DNA testing was needed to establish who the biological father is.

Senior Counsel Gerard Durcan said that, while the surrogate's identity could be ascertained, there might difficulties in establishing paternity.

The surrogate has reportedly been notified of the proceedings and has given her consent to the child being made a ward of court. The intended parents have been appointed as interim guardians until the hearing takes place.

Reporting restrictions mean that the parties and the country where the surrogacy arrangement took place cannot be named. The court was told previously that there was no suggestion of any wrongdoing.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Case shows 'absurdity' of surrogacy regulation
The Irish Catholic |  10 November 2016
Landmark High Court surrogacy case adjourned
RTE |  7 November 2016
'Unique' hearing over child born through surrogacy is adjourned
The Irish Times |  7 November 2016
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