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Family Law Solicitors

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Latest Development on Indian Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill 2013

The Home Ministry in India has laid down conditions for grant of Visas to foreign couples commissioning Surrogacy in India. The Government has made modifications to the draft Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulations Bill 2013 to accommodate suggestions made by different Ministries and Departments. The Home Ministry had already announced that “it will not give tourist visas to foreign nationals coming to India for commissioning Surrogacy of which several cases had been reported. Tourist Visas are not the appropriate Visa category for commissioning Surrogacy and such foreigners will be liable for action for violation of Visa conditions”. The appropriate Visa category is a medical Visa the Home Ministry notification said.

In order to ensure the Surrogate mother’s interest are protected, the Ministry said such a Visa may only be granted if certain conditions are fulfilled. The foreign man and woman must be duly married for at least two years. The Ministry will also insist that the Indian Embassy or Foreign Ministry of the country concerned enclose an acknowledgement along with a Visa application that the country recognises Surrogacy and that the child/children to be born to the commissioning couple through the Indian Surrogate mother will be permitted entry into their country as biological child/children of the couple. Besides the couple should produce a duly notarised agreement between the Applicant couple and the perspective Indian Surrogate mother. “If any of the above conditions are not fulfilled, the Visa application shall be rejected” the Home Ministry said. The Ministry has informed the Indian Missions abroad that the commissioning couples need to be told that they must obtain an “exit” permission from the foreign regional registration offices before leaving India for their return journey. This gives rise to some concerns in terms of Irish 2 couples going to India to have children by way of Surrogacy in circumstances where it will not be possible to issue an acknowledgment that the children born to the commissioning couple will be permitted entry into this jurisdiction as a biological child/children of the couple.

Under the present rules and regulations, the only possibility is for a Declaration of Parentage to be made on the return of the child to this jurisdiction and this Declaration of Parentage can only be made in respect of the parent who is genetically connected. In the vast majority of cases involving Surrogacy births, it is the male who is genetically connected and not the female. This requirement will give rise to huge concerns about future couples who might be considering having children by way of Surrogacy in India.

Marion Campbell, Solicitor

Changes in visa guidelines for Parents wishing to avail of Surrogacy in India

The Indian Government has recently issued new guidelines for couples intending to travel to India to avail of Surrogacy services. If a couple wish to avail of Surrogacy services, they must apply for and obtain a Medical Visa for that trip. In order to obtain a Medical Visa, the following conditions have to be complied with:

  1. This VISA will only issue to a heterosexual couple who have been married for at least two years.
  2. The application has to be accompanied by a letter from the Department of the Environment stating that Ireland recognizes Surrogacy and that the child born to the couple in India through a Surrogacy arrangement will be permitted to enter into Ireland as their biological child/children. In addition the Indian Authorities have requested that all Clinics dealing with Surrogacy be registered. It is therefore imperative that any parties considering going to India to avail of Surrogacy services should ensure that the Clinic is registered.

Marion Campbell


The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence announces the publication of guidance for Irish couples on surrogacy arrangements made abroad

The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Mr Alan Shatter, T.D. today published a Guidance Document on citizenship, parentage, guardianship and travel document issues in relation to children born as a result of surrogacy arrangements entered into outside the State. The Guidance Document provides information to people who intend to enter surrogacy arrangements outside the State on the practical and legal considerations arising under Irish law where the commissioning parents intend to bring the child to live with them in the State.

The steps that commissioning parents need to undertake to safeguard the welfare of a child born outside the State through surrogacy are set out in the Guidance Document. The Document gives information on:

  • how parentage is established
  • how citizenship may be established
  • what other information is required in order for travel documents to issue for the child where sufficient evidence of parentage and citizenship is provided
  • the undertakings that will be required of the commissioning parents in relation to obtaining guardianship and notifying their local health centre of the child’s presence in the State, so that the welfare of the child is protected. Family Law: The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence announces the publication of guidance for Irish couples on surrogacy arrangements made abroad.

Minister Shatter said "The purpose of this Guidance Document is to provide information to prospective commissioning parents on the steps necessary to ensure that a child born abroad through a surrogacy arrangement may enter and reside in the State and to secure the best interests of the child. The Guidance addresses the practical and legal considerations arising in relation to surrogacy arrangements, some of which need to be dealt with very shortly after the birth of a child.

The law relating to parenthood and guardianship rights in the context of surrogacy is complex. I intend to develop legislative proposals in this area in collaboration with the Department of Health, taking into account developments in the law of other jurisdictions, and practical experience in dealing with surrogacy cases."

The Guidance Document was developed by the Departments of Justice and Equality, Health, Children and Youth Affairs, Foreign Affairs and Trade, Social Protection and the Office of the Attorney General. It is available at www.justice.ie and will also published on the websites of each relevant Department.

21 February, 2012