After years of lobbying the government to provide full protection for children born through international surrogacy, Irish Gay Dads launched a new campaign called No More Delays to put pressure on ministers to advance surrogacy rights in Ireland.
LGBTQ+ parents in Ireland, especially those opting for surrogacy to expand their families, encounter distinct hurdles such as discrimination and inadequate legal safeguards. Due to the absence of surrogacy-specific legislation in Ireland, the non-biological parent of children born through surrogacy lacks the legal authority to perform routine parenting responsibilities, like accompanying their child to a medical appointment or applying for a passport.
Despite the Special Joint Oireachtas Committee on International Surrogacy report in July 2022 and three government ministers outlining plans to advance the work conducted by their respective departments in December 2022, little progress has been made in securing rights for children of LGBTQ+ families.
As the campaign outlines, in April 2023, Minister Stephen Donnelly pledged to present the legislation to the House before the summer recess. Since then, “there has been no discernible progress, only a trail of unfulfilled promises, missed deadlines, and families left in a precarious legal limbo.”
The video campaign includes messages from several gay dads in Ireland speaking directly to Minister Stephen Donnelly and demanding no more delays with the surrogacy legislation: “Minister Stephen Donnelly, the spotlight is on you”.
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In the video comments, several Irish parents emphasise that they have been waiting long enough for the legislation and it’s time to act. Some explain that they are currently living abroad because, as the current legislation stands, they will not have the same rights when they move back to Ireland.
The lack of progress, coupled with the Irish government’s decision to exclude same-sex couples from the publicly funded IVF scheme, has caused particular frustration. Irish Gay Dads emphasise that LGBTQ+ parents and children deserve to have the same rights as everyone else in Ireland, and the campaign urges the legislation to be introduced by the end of the year.
To help mobilise support, Irish Gay Dads are inviting LGBTQ+ parents and prospective parents across Ireland to share their own stories using the #NoMoreDelays and #IrishGayDads hashtags. Sharing these experiences is a powerful tool for breaking down misconceptions and promoting greater societal acceptance of LGBTQ+ families.
In addition to posting on social media, parents are encouraged to email their TDs regarding the unexplained delay in introducing the Assisted Human Reproduction (AHR) Bill amendments to offer retrospective recognition of families born via surrogacy. Irish Gay Dads have an easy-to-complete template available to facilitate this process.
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