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An IVF expert has told the High Court that the law should be changed so that it is presumed that the parents of a child born to a surrogate mother are "the commissioning couple". Dr Mary Wingfield, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist with the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, with a specialty in infertility, said the fact that a child was the genetic child of the commissioning couple was also a factor
A Scottish Catholic adoption charity faces de-registration — because it expects couples to be married for at least two years before adopting children. Scotland’s charity regulator admits the St Margaret’s adoption agency provides a valuable service – but says the marriage policy discriminates against gay couples, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Men and women who are married or in long-term relationships are more likely to survive to old age than ‘singletons’, according to new research. Scientists from the Duke University Medical Centre in the US have found that being married, or being in a permanent stable relationship, can lead to a longer life
The State has told the genetic parents of two young children born to a surrogate that Irish law will only recognise the birth mother as the legal mother because of the legal principal that “motherhood is always certain”. The couple have taken a case to the High Court arguing that the birth cert of their genetic children should be amended to name the genetic mother rather than the surrogate (birth) mother.
French President François Hollande has agreed to receive the lay leaders of the massive protest against same-sex marriage held earlier this month. Announcing the decision on Monday, his office said the meeting would still not alter his plan to legalise gay marriage and adoption by June.
The High Court has said that the media can report on a landmark case regarding an attempt to recognise surrogacy under Irish law. The genetic parents of two children born to a surrogate mother have taken a case to be recognised as the children's parents on their birth certificates, the Irish Independent reports.
The Government have met with representatives of the Catholic Church in only their second meeting as part of the “structured dialogue” process set up under the previous administration. The issue of abortion dominated the meeting, according to a report in the Irish Times.
No Catholic primary schools should be handed over to new patron bodies without firm guarantees that the ethos of the remaining schools will be properly respected, one of the country’s leading Catholic educationalists has said. Professor Eamonn Conway (pictured), head of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Mary Immaculate, Limerick, made the remarks at an event in Buswells hotel yesterday organised by The Iona Institute.
Catholic adoption agencies in Colorado are under threat as a result of a new version of a civil unions bill that no longer protects agencies that believe children should ideally be placed with a mother and a father. The original version of the bill said it “shall not be interpreted to require a child placement agency to place a child for adoption” with a couple in a civil union.
Religious leaders in Vietnam have expressed serious concern at new regulations laid down by the government there which they fear will impose new restrictions on religious practice. Decree 92, issued by Vietnam’s Communist government in November, went into effect earlier this month and is raising concerns among the nation’s Christians and Buddhists.
The Catholic bishops of England and Wales have sent a million postcards opposing gay marriage to parishes around the country and are urging parishioners to send them to their MPs. The cards urge MPs to vote against the bill to legislate for same-sex marriage being introduced into Parliament later this month.
Churches have paid too little attention to the damage done to them by decades of widespread family breakdown in the US, according to a new study. Children raised in intact, married families are more likely to be religious than children who were not.
The Department of Health in Northern Ireland has confirmed it is appealing a High Court ruling which said that a law banning cohabiting and same-sex couples from adopting constituted ‘unlawful discrimination’ . In response to a question from Green Party MLA Stephen Agnew, Health Minister Edwin Poots said that his department had served notice of the appeal on the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission which took the original case.
A woman whose case against Ireland's prohibition on assisted suicide was rejected by the High Court last week is set to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court, The Irish Independent reports. Marie Fleming, a 59 year suffering from multiple sclerosis, argued that the ban on assisted suicide infringed her rights under the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.
The number of Irish children born outside marriage, and who are being raised outside marriage is as high as it is in most other Western countries, according to a new study. In addition, the number of Irish people aged 18-49 who are married is among the lowest in the Western world.
Belgium has allowed twin blind brothers who were not suffering from a terminal illness to be killed under its euthanasia laws. The 45-year-old brothers from the Antwerp region were born deaf and sought euthanasia after finding that they would also soon go blind.
Socio-economic status and the educational level of parents is more important than family structure for children's welfare, a major new study says. The study, Family Relationships and Family Well-Being, written by Professor Tony Fahey of UCD, suggests that says the education level of the mother is particularly important in giving a child a good start in life.
Today's ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in which three British Christians lost their claims against religious discrimination has “sent out the wrong message about the position of religious faith in Britain today,” according to Theos, a leading religion and society think tank.
Parents in 38 more towns and suburbs around the country are to be asked whether they want some of the Catholic school in their areas to be handed over to another patron body. Parents of all children up to 12 years in the 38 areas, which encompasses 311 schools, will be asked by the Department of Education whether they want change.
Illegal abortion on the grounds of sex may be taking place in the UK within immigrant communities, Government ministers have admitted. They made the admission after an official analysis was made of birth statistics.
The High Court in its ruling yesterday dismissing an appeal against Ireland's ban on assisted suicide held out the possibility that those helping terminally ill people to commit suicide might not be prosecuted, according to reports.
A Christian pastor chosen by President Obama (pictured) to deliver the benediction at his inauguration later this month, has backed out after a pressure campaign by gay rights activists. Reverend Louie Giglio had been chosen for the occasion to highlight his work opposing human trafficking and slavery.
The Iona Institute appeared before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children in its hearings on the abortion issue earlier today. Irish Times columnist Breda O'Brien and barrister Maria Steen told the committee that the Government should amend rather than repeal the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act which criminalises abortion.
The High Court has ruled against allowing assisted suicide. Earlier today, the three-judge sitting of the Court rejected an appeal by Marie Fleming, who was arguing that Ireland's ban on assisted suicide was a breach of her rights under the Constitution and under the European Convention on Human Rights.
The Government's Constitutional Convention is set to convene later this month to discuss changing the voting age and the length of the term of the presidency. The issues will be examined by the Convention’s 100-member panel during a two-day assembly on Jan 26 and 27 at the Grand Hotel, Malahide, Dublin.
Pope Benedict has said that Catholic bishops must have “the courage to contradict the prevailing mindset” of modern culture. He said the faith “will constantly be in conflict with the prevailing wisdom of those who cling to what seems certain”.
The Government is to meet Catholic Church leaders next week as part of the “structured dialogue” process for only the second time since it was elected. It is expected that the Government's proposal to legalise abortion and proposals to divest Catholic-run schools to other patron bodies will be on the agenda.
Catholic schools in France have been warned to remain neutral on the issue of same-sex marriage by the country’s Education Minister, Vincent Pellion. Mr Peillon has written a letter to all of the country’s 8,300 Catholic school principals, claiming that they have the responsibility to maintain “neutrality” regarding the debate over homosexual marriage.
The 1968 papal encyclical Humanae Vitae was “a prophetic document” which predicted the catastrophic consequences for society of the sexual revolution, the Bishop of Portsmouth, Philip Egan (pictured), has said. Humane Vitae reiterated the Catholic Church’s traditional teaching on sexual morality and artificial contraception.
The US State of Kansas is suing a man to pay support to the child conceived using sperm he donated to a couple looking for a child of their own. William Marotta donated sperm to a lesbian couple under a written agreement that he would not be considered the father of the child nor liable for child support.
The Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has said that it is to conduct a “review” of Ireland's abortion law and it is inviting submissions. Submissions must be sent by next Thursday.
People who are‘spiritual’ without having a specific religious affiliation are at greater risk of developing mental health problems than those who have a specific religion or those who have no religion, a new study suggests. Researchers at University College London found that those who claim to be spiritual but not religious were more disposed towards anxiety disorders, phobias and neuroses, eating disorders and drug problems.
A school in the UK is being sued by Muslim parents after banning pupils from wearing the traditional Islamic headscarf in lessons. St Cyprian's Greek Orthodox primary in south London is set for a case in the High Court after it was claimed that their uniform policy breaches children’s religious freedom, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Child Benefit payments should be replaced with State-subsidised child care, the Minister for Children, Frances Fitzgerald (pictured), has said. In an interview with the Irish Times, Ms Fitzgerald said that the Government spent €2 billion a year on child benefit. She proposed replacing this monthly payment with a subsidy for childcare.
Christianity is threatened with extinction in the biblical heartlands of the Middle East because of Islamist oppression, according to a report from a UK think-tank. And the report goes on to say that Western politicians and media ignore the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and the wider world because they fear being accused of racism.
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