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Surrogate row girl 'to be put in orphanage'

A COUPLE claim a daughter they had under a surrogacy arrangement could end up in an orphanage in the Ukraine where she was born.

The husband and wife have been given permission to bring a High Court challenge aimed at securing an Irish passport for the child so that she can be brought out of the Ukraine. They cannot be named by order of the court.

The court heard yesterday the child, who was born earlier this year, can only stay in the Ukraine for 90 days, but is unable to leave because she has no travel documentation. After that period, she could be placed in an orphanage.

The surrogacy arrangement, with a Ukrainian woman, was facilitated by a clinic in that country, the court heard.

Counsel for the couple told the court results of a DNA test show that the man is "99.99998pc" likely to be the biological father. Both he and his wife are registered on the child's birth certificate as her parents.



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The couple applied here for travel documentation but, their lawyers were told, the application has been referred to the Chief State solicitor's office who indicated to them last week the advice of the Attorney General would be required.

Their High Court proceedings are against the Minister for Foreign Affairs for an order compelling him to furnish the child with an Irish passport or an emergency travel certificate.

They claim the failure to answer their application with expedition is unlawful, an infringement of the child's constitutional and European Convention rights and a breach of fair procedures.

The matter will come back before the High Court later this month.

Counsel for the family, Mary O'Toole, said her clients have serious concerns because the child is not entitled to Ukrainian citizenship and is essentially stateless.

hnews@herald.ie