Surrogacy - Womb to rent?

irishexaminer.com/viewpoints … 31458.html

The ‘right’ to procreate is not an absolute right. What if I’m infertile, i don’t have the right to have kids or the right to have surrogate kids. I’d probably have the right to try given the limited definition of infertile (12 months).

The issue has been addressed by the rev com judge. 2 married or civil partnership are I’d reckon unlikely to have a kid no matter how much or little sex they have. They too don’t have the automatic right to surrogacy.

Yes indeed, this was comprehensively knocked on the head in the same-sex marriage referendum thread.

I’ve watched this piece as suggested by Mantissa, youtube.com/watch?&v=PIIvHgd-iko

I’ve watched it a few times and I’ll be honest I’m unimpressed as to the clarity other than it’s sown more doubt in my mind on the issue and actually feel it is more relevant to the consequences of the referendum if passed.

It’s one question and RTE get to edit the responses.

1st expert - No discrimination in who can challenge surrogacy legislation if say there was a total ban. So anyone will be free to challenge whatever comes if it comes right?

2nd expert - No precedent based on the past would indicate the possibility would be allowed for, which IMHO doesn’t deal with the question honestly because we’re dealing with a post Yes future scenario which marks a fundamental change to the root logic of law via the constitution and therefore causes doubt. This point I found the least intelligible as it was portrayed.

3rd expert - Claims no automatic right will occur if passed but fails to explain how which is important considering the right appears to be constitutionally enshrined. Her answer requires a further explanation. My feeling is that the only way a right is ever made “automatic” is when a single challenge succeeds via the courts.

4th - According to head of the Ref Com, there are rights in the constitution that are not absolute rights one being procreation. So does that also include something like marriage? What does he mean exactly? Further qualification is required here.

(Q: According to 3+4, We have a constitution that affords non-automatic-not-aboslute rights. Is that constitutional wide then? Is this why the courts are further required to exact to apply the rights in the real world legislatively?)

So I guess we’ll be leaving it up to the courts in the future to define procreation or even another referendum.

I’m also guessing the reason surrogacy is raised as an issue is that there are two new potential marriage unions which will always rely on third party intervention as means of reproduction (if natural ability is unworkable and woudl clearly be outside of the martial union) and therefore would need to push harder if they choose to exercise their (not absolute?) right to procreate if they hit some kind of legislative wall.

The Government are responsible for not legislating in advance and have either intentionally or ignorantly created a vacuum around this one issue.

This is the fallout of such a poorly thought out re-definition of marriage when the one that was there was at least tried and tested. Perhaps this makes a stronger case to have legislated first and then improve legislation or the wording if it came to a later referendum if it was actually challenged. They took one risk over another which was a political decision.

Experts are great but can be wrong too. If we can redefine a holy cow of society so fundamental as marriage to go beyond the biological borders then everything is up for grabs. Once you break the mold and all that. Some might view this definition as a constitutional Trojan horse.

Also I feel once serious money is put behind even one future constitutional challenge if required by one party to satisfy their access to their new but not absolute rights all bets are off.

I’ve seen the experts wheeled out before on so many issues telling us something could never be as we imagine and it ends up worse, I just can’t think of anything off the top of my head… :angry:

Happy to be corrected if someone feels I grossly miss-interpreted the answers within the context of the question.

… so shall I start a thread on the definition of pro-creation? :nin

We have heard time and time again that surrogacy is more of an issue for heterosexual couples, so my own belief is that surrogacy, like the majority of the No side’s tactics, is merely to muddy waters. Only one of these new unions is likely to resort to surrogacy as lesbians, one would imagine, would carry the babies themselves unless they both happened to be infertile.

How many gay men will marry? How many will want children and jump through the various loops involved to adopt or conceive through surrogacy? I would be interested in seeing some figures for other nations/states where gay marriage is allowed. Personally I don’t see gay surrogacy becoming a material issue in Irish society, though I am also pro-surrogacy so perhaps some extreme anti-surrogacy advocates believe even one instance of surrogacy is too much, I don’t know, but in any case their issue (unless they are homophobic and looking for excuses) should be with straight couples and thus it is a non-issue IMO as far as the upcoming referendum is concerned.

I was struck by the same point when watching ie why didnt they ensure that the surrogacy legislation was in place prior to the referendum?? Would have made sense surely…

Assuming you have no issue with surrogacy, is their any particular reason to restrict surrogacy to same sex couples , a single gay person (unmarried), a single straight person. But definitely not not married gays.

If you oppose surrogacy for married gays but no one else, what is the reasoning on this

There will the small matter of sacking Alan shatter. No offense to the rest of the gov but I don’t think anyone else has the knowledge or fight to get surrogacy legislation through.

@OW the rev com is the independent arbitrator. And yes it applies to marriage. It wouldn’t take much for a legal expert to argue yes or no so why listen to them.

refcom2015.ie/answers-to-questio … -adoption/

I did post some UK numbers in the other thread. The numbers are very small.

UK 2013, 167 babies. The equivalent per population for Ireland would be 12 babies a year. Now, that is total, so we have to then scale for same-sex vs opposite sex. Not sure what the appropriate scaling would be but we’re talking about being able to count same-sex couples who avail of surrogacy on the fingers of one hand.

This is the draft FCR bill before the surrogacy parts (which start on page 27) were taken out so I imagine future legislation will be very similar.
justice.ie/en/JELR/General%2 … 20Bill.pdf

I have a huge issue with surrogacy for both heterosexual and same sex partnerships as it commoditises women.
Why did they remove this section from the final bill?

Thanks CA I will have a read.

I do think you need to be careful with statements like that though - altruistic surrogacy (eg family members) can be an amazing thing, and saying it commodises anyone comes across as harsh and judgemental. I share your concern in a commercial surrogacy setting.

Wouldn’t that have been the case with sperm donors up to now?

Altruistic surrogacy is much rarer and I would suggest doesn’t need a legislative platform.
Commercial surrogacy could end up like prostitution, in that the surrogate will be criminalised for accepting more than legitimate expenses and the customers won’t be penalised in any way. Or if commercial surrogacy is not permitted in this country but is facilitated under the legislation, overseas and probably cheaper surrogates will be used.

I guess that at the moment no father is registered and the child only has their mother listed on the birth certificate. My father is not on my birth cert even though my parents were married.

Citation for the fact that it’s rarer?

I believe it absolutely does need a legislative platform, as without one the birth mother is the mother even if she’s a surrogate for a family member. Also I would argue that protection is needed to avoid family members being paid for surrogacy, effectively covering commercial arrangements with a veneer of family relationship (i.e. find a poor 3rd cousin and pay them).

No, that’s not what the draft legislation you posted says at all – it says that if the donor gets paid too much the court may decide not to grant the surrogacy orders. It also says that either party, as well as any agency, can be convicted of an offence. At least read your own links :smiley:

FTR I have no problem with overseas surrogates being used, as long as the same protections are in place – like for foreign adoptions.

Sorry I didn’t pick up on your qualificationand refernce to “not an absolute right”. So I’ll run with that. I’ll give this surrgoacy issue one thing, it’s really opened up morethe entire issue of the referndum to further scrutiny.

We’re now facing the potential for future definition and by virtue potential re-definition of procreation.

Ok so here is how understand what is implied by “not an absolute right”

You are entitled to pro create if you manage it and that right is protected by the constitution once the event occurs verifiabily.

This brings us all back to the point I made in the referendum thread that everyone holds to varying degrees the ability and potential to procreate by fact of nature. So while the constitution does not prohibit pro-creation (think about that! :astonished: ) it only grants it on fact of occurrence and this is what is meant by “not being an absolute right”, which is easily confusing in common terms.

It wonder is this an example of a not absolute but is an automatic right. :neutral_face:

I’ll have to go back and reference the text but I assume there is no explicit definition similar to marriage other than at least minimalist incursions as ps200306 put it.

If we can broadly agree with then above then I propose to proceed and tease this out more because this is becoming far far more interesting than I had ever imagined. It may need it’s own thread too.

Once more I’m not sure this is important at all, if it was it could be argued on numbers this is frivolous exercise. As much valid as any argument. I don’t find it useful to open up a front for or against on the numbers issue.

Also I don’t understand why only straight couples might avail of surrogacy, maybe I’ve a different idea in my head of what it is and is not.

No-one said its only straight couples. But if you look at the numbers it’s going to be mostly straight couples. In addition female same-sex couples have twice he number of uteruses than opposite-sex couples so are less likely to need to avail of surrogacy.

I should qualify, I find that shocking but not surprising. Isn’t it interesting that this is legally so (maybe it changed in the recent CFRA). What better way to divide families but at the moment of birth. Pretty sick if you ask me.

I wonder how old the legisaltion is that affected this situation? Perhaps it suited the powers that be of a certain time. One wonders.

I do remember in the 90’s being on O’Connell st as a poor estranged father mounted crane in protest as part of a fathers group seeking to have this changed where they had no rights to see their own child.

My use of the word supreme was meant in the biological, emotional and spiritual sense in which only a mother can give birth and can directly provide for the child all things being equal.

There is simply nothing equivalent that has the potential to be as good but we do have many interventions that are nearly as good but sometimes I feel are perceived higher than the mothers capacity for greater good and thus undermining toward mothers.

Take the abysmally low figure for breast feeding in Ireland. 51% (ESRI) but anecdotally some think it’s as low as 30% and yet other issues take priority.

So what can we do with these numbers, what do they tell us? How can we use them to privide clarity on the issue.

  • Can someone remind me again what the NO sides issue is with surrogacy, that it’s an a legally blank cheque as Mantissa has pointed. One line is enough quoted or in your own words.