Birth Certs:


The wording option on Irish birth certificates is to change following the recent enactment of Parts II and III of the Children and Family Relationships Act this week.

Parents have an option to choose the label “parent” in lieu of “mother” and/or “father” on the birth certificate of their child. 

The birth certificates for donor-conceived children will not have a different format to those of other babies.

Authorities have now opted for a global change, giving all new parents the choice to avoid the terms ‘mother’ and ‘father’.

The person who gives birth to the child is named first on the birth certificate, and that person can choose the label ‘mother’ or ‘parent’. 

If there is another parent named on the birth certificate, the label choice for that parent will depend on their gender.

Where the second parent is male, the second parent can choose either ‘father’ or ‘parent’.

Where the second parent is female, the second parent will be assigned the label ‘parent’.

These options will also be available to parent(s) where a birth is re-registered as a donor-conceived birth.


Donor – Conceived Children/Additional Information:


Under the new law, the registrar of births will hold ‘additional information’ on donor-conceived children, which may be requested when that child reaches 18.

In tandem, the General Scheme of the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill provides for the formation of a National Donor-Conceived Person Register (NDCPR), a move that was first mooted in section 33 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015.

The Act contains provisions relating to Donor Assisted Human Reproduction (DAHR) procedures that take place in a clinical setting in the State. The details of the parent(s) will be registered on the Irish National Donor-Conceived Person Register to protect the rights of children conceived through the use of donor embryos or gametes.

It applies to procedures where the woman who gives birth is also the intending mother and the child is born in the State.




Surrogacy is not covered under this legislation. The draft Assisted Human Reproduction Bill contains provisions for areas including domestic surrogacy and the subsequent assignment of parentage   and should be drafted to ensure coherent interaction between the AHR Bill and Parts 2 & 3 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015.


Donated sperm or eggs:


On May 4th 2020, the use of donor gametes (sperm or egg) and donor embryos will need to comply with the provisions of Parts 2 & 3 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 (the Act).

The majority of anonymously donated sperm or eggs will not be eligible to be used in a Donor Assisted Human Reproduction procedure in an Irish fertility clinic from the 4th May, 2020.

However, where a family wishes to create a sibling for their existing child(ren) using the same donor there is a transitional provision of three years.

In these cases, the transitional period which allows for the use of anonymously donated sperm or eggs is until 4 May, 2023.




Embryos formed using anonymously donated gamete/s prior to May 4th 2020 will still be able to be used in a Donor Assisted Human Reproduction procedure in an Irish fertility clinic following commencement of the Act. 

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