229. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the work of the surrogacy interdepartmental group; the number of times it has met; the recommendations or proposals it has made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15310/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Surrogacy Interdepartmental Group is comprised of senior officials from the Department of Justice and Equality, the Department of Health, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, together with the Office of the Chief State Solicitor and the Office of the Attorney General. The Group first met in 2011 to jointly develop a guidance document for persons intending to enter into surrogacy arrangements outside the State. The guidance document on "Citizenship, Parentage, Guardianship and Travel Document Issues in relation to Children Born as a Result of Surrogacy Arrangements Entered Into Outside the State" was published in 2012 and is available to view on my Department's website and the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The Group met in 2011 and 2012 in relation to the guidance document and has met once a year since 2016 to discuss issues arising in family law cases before the courts to which the State is a notice party and issues relating to the guidance document. The Deputy will appreciate that I cannot provide details of any recommendations reached by the Group in relation to individual family law cases to which the State is a notice party as these are covered by both the in camera rule and legal advice privilege.