‘Emotionally, we feel validated and validated’ – Families celebrate historic new surrogacy rights


Families partied outside Leinster House yesterday to mark a “historic day” after a landmark report paved the way for surrogacy rights in Ireland.

he joint Oireachtas committee on international surrogacy was published and the Dáil committee called for legal recognition of both parents of a child born through an international surrogacy arrangement, among its 32 recommendations.

Former Miss World Rosanna Davison, who welcomed her first child Sophia through a surrogate in 2019, said the news was a “relief” for families like hers.

She joined Dancing with the stars Judge Arthur Gourounlian, who also celebrated the news outside Leinster House.

Gourounlian and his TV presenter Brian Dowling are expecting their first child later this year with the help of Dowling’s sister Aoife, who is their surrogate mother.

Peter Darby, his husband Fabio Santos and their three-year-old triplets traveled from Sydney, Australia to attend the gathering and welcome the report.

They had their triplets through a donor egg and a surrogate mother in Brazil and say bureaucracy is currently preventing them from returning to Ireland permanently.

“Child equality is really a silly thing, it should be there,” said Mr Darby.

“We’re now in 2022 and that really shouldn’t be a thing for us to deal with, but we’re here to support it.”

Irish mother Susan Frith-Keyes gave birth to her son via surrogacy while living in the UK.

She has not been legally recognized as the parent of her four-year-old son since she returned to Dublin four months ago. She said the legislation would remove her “fear and concern”.

“In practical terms, it would mean I could sign off on any medical requirement or procedure for my son. I am currently not authorized to do this. Emotionally, I would just feel validated and validated,” she said.

Davison (37) recounted this Irish Independent: “I am incredibly happy – feeling very positive and hopeful and also emotional. A really positive day – I think it’s a big step forward for Ireland.

“This report released today is solid, it’s conclusive, it’s comprehensive and it sets out the recommendations to allow me to be recognized as Sofia’s legal mother, so this is so important to our family.”

Davison recently welcomed her Ukrainian surrogate back into her life after fleeing her hometown of Kherson to live near her, her husband Wes, their daughter Sofia and twins Oscar and Hugo.

“She lives nearby. I wouldn’t put her through the agony of life with three toddlers, to be honest she’s been through enough,” she said.

“We meet up often and have game dates. My little girl is good friends with her little girl.”

She said watching the relationship between her surrogate and daughter Sofia was “surreal but so rewarding.”

“Her story is incredible and I hope she has the opportunity to tell it soon, her escape from Ukraine and her life in the war,” she said.

“It was just rewarding to see her relaxing here and exploring Dublin and seeing her enjoying life here and establishing herself and establishing herself in schools and jobs and all that stuff.” ‘Emotionally, we feel validated and validated’ – Families celebrate historic new surrogacy rights

Fry Electronics Team

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