Bill clarifies legal parents of DAHR babies

The parents of a child born as a result of a donor-assisted human reproduction (DAHR) procedure will be the mother, (the woman who gave birth to the child) and, where applicable, the spouse, civil partner or co-habitant of the mother, subject to consent of both parties, under the Children and Family Relationships (Amendment) Bill 2018
The Bill provides that a parent shall have all parental rights and duties in respect of the child. The donor of a gamete or embryo used in the DAHR procedure shall not be a parent of that child and shall have no parental rights or duties in respect of that child.

The Department of Health said that all those donating sperm, eggs (oocytes), or an embryo for use in a DAHR procedure after the date of commencement of the Bill must consent to the recording of their personal information on the National Donor-Conceived Person Register.

“In order to vindicate the rights of donor-conceived children to access information on their genetic heritage Part 3 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 provides for the establishment of the National Donor-Conceived Person Register. This Register will contain the details of the relevant donor, intending parents and child born as a result of a DAHR procedure in Ireland. Under the Act a donor-conceived child, upon reaching the age of 18, can request from the Minister for Health the name, date of birth and contact details of the relevant donor that are contained in the National Donor-Conceived Person Register.

“Sections 20 to 23 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 contain provisions for the parents of a donor-conceived child to apply to the District or Circuit Court for a declaration of parentage in relation to a child born in Ireland as a result of DAHR procedures performed both in the State and outside the State prior to the commencement of Parts 2 and 3 of the Act, subject to certain conditions.

“The Children and Family Relationships Act specifically relates to procedures where the intending mother is also the birth mother. As such this Act does not encompass surrogacy.

“Provisions relating to the regulation of surrogacy are included in Part 6 of the General Scheme of the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill 2017.

“The Government approved the drafting of a Bill on assisted human reproduction (AHR) and associated areas of research, which will be based on the published General Scheme, in October last year. Officials in the Department of Health are engaging with the Office of the Attorney General in relation to the process of drafting this Bill.”