Referendum Commissioner’s comments on surrogacy and adoption deeply contradictory

Press release from The Iona Institute

Comments by Judge Kevin Cross on Morning Ireland today concerning adoption and surrogacy seem very hard to reconcile with previous comments he has made on these topics.

He told Morning Ireland that the referendum is not to do with either surrogacy or adoption.

However, last week he admitted that if the marriage referendum passes it would be “difficult to imagine” how a future Oireachtas could pass a law that would prefer opposite-sex married couples over same-sex married couples when regulating surrogacy. (See note 2 below).

He made similar comments concerning future adoption laws and Assisted Human Reproduction law (AHR).

How can Judge Cross say that the referendum does not have to do adoption or surrogacy AND admit that passage of the referendum would hamper the ability of a future Oireachtas to pass laws on adoption, surrogacy or AHR that made a distinction between opposite-sex married couples and same-sex married couples?

The Iona Institute believes it is impossible to reconcile these statements and it is deeply contradictory to say the referendum has nothing to do with surrogacy, adoption and AHR while at the same time conceding that passage of the referendum will influence how a future Oireachtas can regulate these areas.

We also note that when Judge Cross was asked whether, in the event of the referendum passing, a same-sex couple could take a case demanding a Constitutional right of access to surrogacy services, he limited himself to saying that no such right currently exists. But this is not what he was asked, and he did not answer the question.

Notes to editor:

    1. The Iona Institute is a pro-family organisation.
    2. A fuller version of what the Referendum Commission has said concerning surrogacy, adoption and AHR can be found here.