At Family Formation, we have had a surrogacy program for over twenty-five years and during that time, case law in California relating to gestational surrogacy has become well established. Solid case law does not provide such a reassuring foundation in many other states and in many countries in the developed world, gestational surrogacy remains outside the law.
Over the past weeks, we have followed with interest, the story of an Irish couple. The wife, unable to carry a pregnancy herself, accepted the offer from her sister to act as a surrogate mother. Her sister went on to deliver twins for the couple. However, the State, citing an article in the Irish Constitution, refused to allow the genetic mother to be named on the birth certificate as the children’s mother. The resulting legal battle proved long and emotional for the family, but in a landmark decision in the High Court this week, the judge ruled in favor of the genetic mother.
On the same day in Ireland, it was reported that the father of a two year old girl born to a surrogate mother in India, won an appeal to be legally named the parent and guardian of his daughter.
These decisions appear to signify both a move to support gestational surrogacy and an affirmation of the modern family. For a largely conservative, Catholic country, yesterday’s events were significant. However, with constitutional issues at stake, it is likely that the State will appeal the decision.
The events in Ireland serve to remind us how fortunate we have been to help build hundreds of families through gestational surrogacy and to work in an environment which recognizes the many ways that our diverse society chooses and is able to build its families today. We will continue to follow the story.