Sinn Féin spokesperson for Children, Kathleen Funchion TD, has called on the Government to progress Assisted Human Reproduction (AHR) legislation as a matter of urgency.
Speaking today as she stood in solidarity with affected families at the gates of Leinster House, Teachta Funchion said:
“I think it is really important that I stand here today with families and parents as they present letters to all three Government parties outlining their concerns at the lack of progress in delivering appropriate AHR legislation.
“The Government has been found wanting on this issue. They are playing serious catch up in an ever changing and evolving family creation environment in Ireland.
“I hold serious concerns after it emerged in media reports that there is no provision in this legislation for international surrogacy – that is a serious mistake.
“No one is doubting this is a complex issue and it does require careful consideration.
“However, failure to address international surrogacy will mean this legislation will not be fit for purpose for Irish parents who have either used the services of a surrogate in another jurisdiction or are considering it.
“Today I have heard stories from mothers who still two and three years down the line are not considered their child’s legal guardian, while fathers because of the biological nature of their relationship with the child are immediately deemed to be the child’s legal guardian in the eyes of the law..
“This needs to change and it needs to change immediately.
“I hope today’s demonstration urges the Minister to move quickly to bring forward legislation that ensures the rights of the child, parents and surrogates are paramount.
“The government cannot ignore this issue any longer. They have a duty to listen to families, their concerns and experiences and then to deliver the changes they need.”