Europan Parliament backs report that denounces surrogacy

Iona Institute says Department of Health should take document viewpoint into account


The European Parliament has voted in favour of a human rights report part of which “condemns” surrogacy practices.

Legislation on surrogacy in Ireland is being drafted with a Bill expected to be published next year. The Iona Institute, a Christian think tank, said the Department of Health should take into account the views of the report adopted in Europe on Thursday. Surrogacy formed one section of the document which is non-binding and relates to countries outside the EU.

A paragraph notes the condemnation of “the practice of surrogacy, which undermines the human dignity of the woman since her body and its reproductive functions are used as a commodity”.

“The practice of gestational surrogacy which involves reproductive exploitation and use of the human body for financial or other gain, in particular in the case of vulnerable women in developing countries, shall be prohibited and treated as a matter of urgency in human rights instruments,” it says.


Some parts of the section of the report proved divisive among parliamentarians, provoking separate specific votes on language. The overall document was adopted by 421 votes to 86 with 116 abstentions.

David Quinn of The Iona Institute welcomed the vote and said surrogacy, whether commercial or not, turns children into commodities.

“It also splits motherhood into two women, the birth mother and the genetic mother. Next year there is to be a public consultation here on surrogacy,” he said.

“The Department of Health and the Oireachtas should take note of this vote by the European Parliament and also of the fact that many European countries ban surrogacy in all its forms.

“At present our Government has flagged that it will only ban commercial surrogacy.”