Donors will soon be required to add their personal information to a register, to allow children conceived using donated gametes to access personal family information when they turn 18.
'The technology of assisted human reproduction has created a new reality and Irish law must adapt to reflect these changes,' said Mr Simon Harris, the Irish Minister for Health.
The changes are part of the revised 2015 Children and Family Relationships Act which will come into force in the coming months. Mr Harris said it will provide 'much-needed clarity in this area and seeks to vindicate the rights of the most vulnerable individuals in a donor-assisted human reproduction procedure, the children'.
The Irish Fertility Society, which represents clinics and professionals working in the sector, has opposed the legislation, claiming that it would drive subfertile and infertile couples abroad or into 'private arrangements with men on the internet' as a result. It is also feared by some fertility clinics that the ban will result in a reduction in the number of donors.
Dr John Waterstone, current President of the Irish Fertility Society, commented on the legislation when it was first proposed in 2015, writing in the Irish Times: 'Both donors and recipients should be allowed opt for either anonymous or identifiable donation as they see fit. In short, I am for choice.'