Expert criticises Shatter family law reform

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Children have a right to know the identity of their genetic parents, writes Deirdre Madden, lecturer in Law at UCC.ahr(1).jpg

Writing in The Irish Times, she said that it was “unfortunate” that in Justice Minister Alan Shatter’s proposed Family and Relationships Bill 2014 “nothing is said about the child’s right to discover the identity of the donor, which is an important human right worthy of legal protection and which other jurisdictions have enshrined in legislation in recent years.”

However, Ms Madden also welcomed other aspects of the bill, and claimed that parts of it did not go far enough. She said there was no attempt to allow for “posthumous reproduction”, “as the heads of Bill state that the consent of an intended parent is not valid after their death. This means, for example, that where a man has stored sperm prior to cancer treatment and specifically intends that his partner should be able to use it in the event of his death, his explicit consent and wish to become a father is not respected.”

Ms Madden also criticized the enforcement of a ban on paid surrogacy.

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