A couple whose son was born to a surrogate have waived their anonymity in their High Court case in which the woman is seeking legal recognition as the child’s mother.
athy and Brian Egan, of Castlecomer Road, Kilkenny, are asking the court to state that the state’s failure to provide retrospective recognition of the parentage of children born through surrogacy amounts to “unwelcome discrimination” against their family.
A Ukrainian woman carried and gave birth to her genetic son via surrogacy in 2019.
Mr Egan is the child’s genetic and legal father, while Ms Egan is his genetic mother and legal guardian, a relationship ending when he turns 18. She is not legally recognized as his mother.
The couple had been researching surrogacy options after Ms Egan suffered eight miscarriages and they found themselves in a “hopeless situation,” Ms Egan said in an affidavit.
She stressed the urgency of her family’s situation now that her three-year-old’s only legal parent was finalizing his will after he received an aggressive cancer diagnosis. She said her son – a “legal stranger” to her – is not in the same position as his sibling in terms of family entitlements.
Earlier this year, the couple were given permission to continue their judicial review action against Ireland and the Attorney General. When the matter returned for hearing on Tuesday, Judge John Jordan issued an order allowing the family to be identified, which was their wish.
The family’s counsel, Mícheál P O’Higgins SC, with Mark Lynam BL, said the state’s “act or omission” violated or threatened to violate the applicants’ constitutional rights. In such a situation, the court is not only entitled but also obliged to intervene, he said.
Mr O’Higgins said the relief requested by the family was aware of the necessary separation of powers between the courts and the Oireachta homes.
The family is demanding various explanations, including one that the state failed to enforce their constitutional rights by not recognizing the woman as the boy’s legal mother.
The attorney said there was no motion for an order detailing how the Oireachtas should regulate international surrogacy. The complainants are not seeking to override the Oireachtas’ or the state’s specific roles in deciding policy issues, he added.
Ireland and the Attorney General are “best placed,” he said, to determine the best procedures for establishing legitimate recognition of the genetic parent of a child born to a surrogate mother.
The case will continue on Wednesday.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/couple-whose-son-was-born-to-surrogate-say-state-is-discriminating-against-their-family-by-not-recognising-genetic-mother-42059142.html A couple whose son was born to a surrogate says the state discriminates against their family by not recognizing the genetic mother