Irish Gay Dads ‘implores’ government to ensure Irish surrogate families aren’t ‘left behind’

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REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE Irish Gay Dads group have ‘implored’ the government to take action to ensure families created through surrogacy ‘are not left behind’ and treated as ‘second class citizens in their own country “.

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on International Surrogacy met today to focus on issues faced by same-sex couples, male and female, entering into international surrogacy agreements and gaining recognition parental.

The meeting follows last week’s controversial meeting where Independent Senator Sharon Keogan said she ‘doesn’t believe everyone has the right to have a child’.

The committee had heard testimony from witnesses with experience of surrogacy, including those who had had children conceived through assisted human reproduction.

Following Keogan’s input, Elaine Cohalan of the Assisted Human Reproduction Coalition urged committee members to use respectful language.

“Incendiary language and the use of undefined terms do not benefit the debate,” she said.

In a letter sent to Jennifer Whitmore of the Social Democrats, the chair of the committee, Keogan dismissed that her comments were inflammatory and challenged “this characterization of my remarks.”

Keogan says the “tone of the meeting changed” following Cohalan’s remarks and that several members later called his remarks “inflammatory.”

Independent Senator Lynn Ruane said at the meeting last week that committee members should not veto questions because of “personal bigotry” but should “critically engage” on a topic.

Keogan was then asked to leave the meeting.

Keogan said a comment she made to a representative of the Irish Gay Dads group was “misinterpreted”.

Resignation

In an email to members of another committee she is a member of, the Oireachtas Children’s Committee, Keogan said she was resigning as a member but remaining on the International Surrogacy Committee.

His email had the subject line “Unsafe work environment/resignation”.

“I no longer feel safe or protected as a member of the Committee and I made this difficult decision because of that,” she told members.

Independent Senator Sharon Keogan

Speaking to Irish Gay Dads’ Gearóid Kenny Moore today, Keogan said she was ‘very touched’ by his statements at last week’s meeting.

“Of all the witnesses who were here, I was most touched by yours and the relationship you had with your surrogate and the relationship you fostered with the surrogate, and how you also agreed to allow the biological mother to be on the birth certificate.

“I was certainly very encouraged to hear that you agree with that. And, you know, there are many roads to parenthood. Absolutely. And as long as children are loved and cared for and feel secure in life, that’s all that matters,” she said.

In her own case, the surrogate is listed on their child’s birth certificate because they were born in the UK, where parental rights can only be transferred after the child is born, Farrelly explained. .

“Therefore, the surrogate is legally obligated to rely on birth research. As a couple we had children in the UK we weren’t able to go through the parenting order process that exists there because to do this you need to be a resident passport holder, citizen , etc. So we were none of those. And that is the main reason why the surrogate is listed on the birth certificate,” he said.

“Going forward, we would ask you to consider that when surrogacy is the method of conception, the birth certificate issued to the child actually lists their intended parents,” Farrelly said, adding that the inclusion of the surrogate mother is placed on the long form. birth “so that children can see very clearly the exact mode of conception and gestation”.

Surrogate mother

“I’m glad you recognize the importance of the mother giving birth, especially for same-sex marriage, gay fathers, and it’s really important to me that the mother is protected in some way” , Keogan said.

“We fully support the creation of a surrogacy registry which will include her details for the life of the child so that she can never be whitewashed from the image as you would expect. worried last week and we fully support that,” Farrelly said.

Speaking to the committee today, Shane Lennon of Irish Gay Dads, he met husband Carlos 12 years ago.

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“From day one, discuss our desire to have a family,” he said.

“It’s an innate human desire, to want to have a family to raise a child and give a higher meaning to his life… It’s not selective for only certain people, but it was all about fertility, stability physical or sexuality,” Lennon said.

“How is it fair that in the eyes of the revenue commissioners I am equal, like my friends and neighbours. But when it comes to my basic right to carry my family, I am barred,” he said, adding that Irish relationships and families are no longer created in the traditional chronological order of yesterday.

It would be a “travesty” not to include international surrogacy in the assisted reproduction bill, he said.

Fine Gael Senator Mary Seery Kearney told the committee that when same-sex couples meet they “have the same conversations as everyone else about whether they are going to have children together”.

“I’m not sure everyone considers that,” she said, adding that the desire to have a child doesn’t depend on your sexuality or gender.

She said it was about ‘nurturing’ and it was ‘something in the human mind’.

Farrelly said surrogacy models in the US, Canada and the UK are “extremely well established” and have been around for over 30 years.

Having a very strict framework in place to ensure that each party freely enters into an agreement, gives consent and receives appropriate legal and medical support will create a strong system for Ireland, it said. -he declares.

He called for the creation of an oversight body to regulate all players, as there are equivalent bodies in other places.

“Anyone who participates in a surrogacy arrangement, clinic, legal entity or medical person should be regulated and approved by this body,” he added.

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