A post by mother of two, Ranae Von Meding, went viral over the weekend after she expressed the sheer humiliation and frustration faced by her and her wife as LGBT+ parents through this poem.
The married Dublin couple became engaged shortly after the resounding success of the Yes Equality campaign in the 2015 same-sex marriage referendum. Since their wedding, the couple now has two young additions to their new family but are not fully protected under Irish law.
Ranae and her wife Audrey had children through a ‘Shared Motherhood’ (Reciprocal IVF), meaning that Audrey’s eggs were used to conceive their children, while Ranae carried them.
Current legislation only recognises Ranae as their legal mother as she gave birth to them, making Audrey’s parental rights unclear in the event that anything were to happen to Ranae.
‘Considered a single mother and yet,
Our girls have two parents. And don’t you forget…
That we voted for marriage equality.
But what we have is not equal. Not really you see.’
Under current law, only one person within a same-sex couple may apply to adopt a child, leading to difficulties further down the line in the event of custody from bereavement, medical situations, passport applications and more.
Although recently introduced legislation grants lesbian couples the right to both register as parents when having donor-assisted children through an Irish fertility clinic, this protection does not apply to couples who do this abroad, or in Ranae and Audrey’s case, when using Reciprocal IVF.
‘It’s a double standard and every way we lose.
All we want is fairness- yet we can’t even chose,
To have both our kids parents recognised in law.
We are Irish citizens- and yes we are both Mná.’
Ranae drafted the poem after a particularly humiliating passport renewal process for her three year-old daughter. As she is married to a woman, and because Audrey is not recognised as a legal parent, Ranae was forced to omit Audrey’s details and fill in a single parent affidavit.
‘Something so simple, a passport application.
Should have been easy, but for a small stipulation.
That I sign away my wife as though she doesn’t exist.
My entire life with a single signature dismissed.’
Ranae Von Meding said, “I wanted to shine a light on the inequalities that still exist for LGBTQ people in the post-marriage equality era, and I’m overwhelmed by the positive response.
“Every day is a constant reminder that we are not recognised to the fullest degree as two parents, meaning our family is not protected in the way that most families take for granted. This is simply not enough, and I’m calling for action so that we, and others in the community, may live their lives without fear of living on the dangerous sidelines of grey legislation,” she added.
My family is equal though my country doesn’t see.
All the hurt and humiliation it’s been causing me.
And countless others who are in the same boat.
Come on Ireland we can do better. Didn’t we already vote?
Ranae Von Meding recently launched a petition, calling for equal rights for same-sex parents in Ireland, which to date has received almost 25,000 signatures.
Ranae’s poem can be read in full here.
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