Irish Gay Couple Who Obtained Passport For Son Still Don't Have Full Legal Rights

Aaron O'Byrne and Jay O'Callaghan are still affected by the lack of movement on the Children and Families Relationship Act.

Irish gay dads pose with their toddler son in the middle holding a passport

Irish gay couple Aaron O’Byrne and Jay O’Callaghan were recently in the news when they successfully managed to get a passport for their son after a lengthy battle.

The pair had emigrated to Canada after their marriage, but when they tried to return home with their son, Jake, they were met with difficulties  while trying to get him an Irish passport. At the time, describing the situation to The Independent, Jay said, “They asked who the biological father was, and I asked why that was relevant. They told me it would be relevant under Irish Family Law, and I was shocked to discover that our surrogate and her husband could be considered the legal parents of our son at home, even though neither of them has a biological connection to him.”

After a lengthy battle, Jay told GCN recently, “After a year of back and forth with the passport office, we were finally issued with a passport for our son Jake a few weeks ago.” But while the passport was received, only the biological father has rights over Jake in Ireland.

Jay told The Irish Times, “Because one of us is biological, that dad will have legal rights as a parent in Ireland, but the other dad is in limbo. Even if we applied for guardianship, it does not give full legal rights to the second parent.

“Although we have Jake’s passport, the Irish state does not recognise me and my husband as equal in relation the rights of our son. This is a huge deterrent to move home. Nobody would want to return to their home country that does not give equal rights to a family based on their sexual orientation. Lucky we have that in Canada today.”

This is a very similar situation for a lot of families led by Irish gay and lesbian parents. LGBT Ireland recently released a video asking members of the Joint Oireachtas Select Committee on Social Protection to meet the children affected by the lack of movement on proposed changes to the Children and Families Relationship Act.

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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