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Tracy Horan, Surrogacy Solicitor and Managing Partner of Tracy Horan Solicitors discusses the ins and outs of surrogacy law in Ireland

“One could be forgiven for thinking that once technology has advanced to such a stage to allow couples to have such a child through surrogacy, that a simple system would be in place to deal with the legalising of parenthood. However, in Ireland, that is unfortunately not the case.”

Surrogacy, and the quest for legal parenthood, can seem very daunting.

Your Surrogacy Journey:

“The first step should be to ensure that you have the correct advice regarding the legalities of surrogacy in Ireland, the requirements for getting your baby back to your home country and obtaining legal parenthood. The second step is to decide what country and clinic you will engage with. This clinic will be your point of contact for the gestation period. Finance is often a serious consideration and there is a huge difference between countries.

The third step is signing a surrogacy agreement between you, the surrogate and the clinic. This must be done before embryo transfer. It sets out the parameters for the gestation period and what is expected of the surrogate and intended parents.”

Preparing The Legal Paperwork:

“All legal paperwork will be prepared at least four weeks before your due date. Your Irish solicitor will be liaising with the clinic and your foreign lawyer in order to finalise all documents that will be required immediately following the birth for your return to Ireland. It is now necessary to have DNA taken from your baby in the presence of your surrogate and the baby’s father after birth.

The Baby’s Birth and Coming Back to Ireland:

“Step five is preparing for birth and exit from your chosen destination. We generally advise clients to be ready to leave at the drop of a hat the nearer it gets to the due date as babies are unpredictable. You will be guided by your solicitor to ensure that maximum time is available to spend with your new arrival while leading to a smooth exit from the child’s country of birth.”

Bringing your New Baby Back to Irish Soil:

“Legally when you arrive back with your new baby you are required to notify the HSE within 48 hours and issue proceedings within 10 days for your declaration of parentage. This process can take between 12 and 18 months depending on where you reside. The aim is to finalise all legal matters as quickly as possible with minimum interruption and disruption to your new family member.”

Following a recent change to Irish Guardianship Laws, the nonbiologically linked parent can, after two years residing with the child, and if married to the genetic father, apply for an order appointing him/ her joint guardian of the child, otherwise he/she will have had to be cohabiting with the father for at least three years before the application.

For more information visit www.tracyhoransolicitors.ie/tracyhoransolicitors @tracyhoransols

This article appears in the 363 Issue of GCN

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This article appears in the 363 Issue of GCN