Surrogacy decision 'throws mothers' status into doubt', Supreme Court hears

The Supreme Court has been told that a landmark legal decision on surrogacy throws into doubt the status of many women who believe they are the mother of their children.

The state is appealing against a High Court ruling which found the genetic mother of twins born to a surrogate is legally the children’s mother.

The genetic mother of the twins took legal action when she found out her name would not appear on their birth certificates.

She won her case in the High Court last year but that ground-breaking decision is now being appealed by the State.

Opening the State’s case to the Supreme Court today, barrister Michael McDowell said the presumption in public law is and always has been that the woman who gives birth to a child is that child’s mother.

He says it is a matter for the Oireachtas whether to change that legal definition.

He argued the High Court ruling will leave the status of many women who think they are mothers in doubt - because the child’s genetic mother "could appear on the horizon and play the trump card".

The three-day appeal will continue tomorrow before seven judges.

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