Government approves Committee Stage Amendments to the Health (Assisted Human Reproduction) Bill 2022

Published on: 12 December 2023

Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly has today announced the Government decision to approve text of the proposed Committee Stage Amendments (CSAs) to the Health (Assisted Human Reproduction) Bill 2022. This includes new provisions in respect of the regulation of international surrogacy agreements and the recognition of certain past surrogacy arrangements.

The Memorandum for Government has been submitted by the Minister for Health, in conjunction with the Minister for Justice and the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.

This complex and far-reaching legislation will for the first time encompass regulation on a wide range of practices undertaken in this jurisdiction, including: gamete and embryo donation for assisted human reproduction (AHR) and research; domestic altruistic surrogacy; pre-implantation genetic testing of embryos; posthumous assisted human reproduction; and embryo and stem cell research.

Speaking today, Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, said:

“For many families around the country today’s progress on this legislation is an important and much welcomed milestone. I’ve made completing the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill an absolute priority, and these amendments mark  another significant step now on delivering our Programme for Government commitment.

“This amending legislation will protect the rights and safety of children, their parents and all those involved in a surrogacy arrangement. Having met many of them, I know how long they’ve fought for this progress.. I’m now referring the legislation to the Oireachtas Committee on Health and believe we will make further headway in January.  

“In addition to the ground-breaking new surrogacy provisions to be added to the Bill, it will also have the potential to provide hundreds of Irish families with a route to formal recognition by the State of surrogacy arrangements they have undertaken, or will undertake, either domestically or in other jurisdictions.

“My officials have engaged extensively with colleagues in relevant departments and the Office of Attorney General and I would like to acknowledge the collaborative and consultative approach adopted to develop this legislation.”

It is intended that the finalised approved legislative provisions relating to international surrogacy will be included in the Bill at Committee Stage, as well as measures to allow the possibility for retrospective recognition of parentage in respect of domestic and international surrogacy arrangements.


Notes to Editor

The Health (Assisted Human Reproduction) Bill 2022 passed Second Stage in the Dáil in March 2022.

The Bill will also provide for the establishment of the AHRRA (Assisted Human Reproduction Regulatory Authority).

The provisions outlined in the legislation will ensure that AHR practices and related areas of research are conducted in a more consistent and standardised way and with the necessary oversight.

Given the range of complexities which arise, it is crucial that the final detailed provisions are robust and able to withstand rigorous scrutiny and protect the rights of all the various parties involved in surrogacy arrangements, while it is also essential to ensure consistency with any related existing legislation on the Statute Book.

The Government in mid-December 2022 approved a policy approach and draft outline legislative proposals in respect of both the regulation of international surrogacy and the recognition of certain past surrogacy arrangements (domestic and international).