In an effort to secure full protection for children born through international surrogacy, Irish Gay Dads has launched a new campaign called “No More Delays”. The campaign aims to exert pressure on government officials to advance surrogacy rights in Ireland, addressing the distinct challenges faced by LGBTQ+ parents in the country
Currently, LGBTQ+ parents who choose surrogacy as a means of expanding their families encounter discrimination and inadequate legal safeguards. The absence of surrogacy-specific legislation in Ireland leaves non-biological parents in a precarious legal position, unable to carry out routine parenting responsibilities such as accompanying their child to medical appointments or applying for passports.
Despite the efforts of the Special Joint Oireachtas Committee on International Surrogacy and commitments made by government ministers, little progress has been made in securing rights for LGBTQ+ families. Minister Stephen Donnelly pledged to present the legislation before the summer recess in April 2023, but subsequent delays have left families in legal limbo.
The campaign includes a video featuring several gay dads in Ireland directly addressing Minister Stephen Donnelly, urging him to prioritise the surrogacy legislation. Irish parents, in the video comments, highlight their frustration at the prolonged wait for legal recognition, with some noting that they are currently living abroad due to the lack of rights they would have in Ireland.
The frustration is compounded by the exclusion of same-sex couples from the publicly funded IVF scheme, further emphasising the need for equal rights for LGBTQ+ parents and children in Ireland. The No More Delays campaign calls for the legislation to be introduced by the end of the year, ensuring that LGBTQ+ families are treated equally.
To mobilise support, Irish Gay Dads invites LGBTQ+ parents and prospective parents across Ireland to share their own stories using the hashtags #NoMoreDelays and #IrishGayDads. Sharing these personal experiences will help break down misconceptions and promote greater acceptance of LGBTQ+ families in society.
In addition to social media posts, parents are encouraged to email their TDs (members of parliament) to express their concern over the unexplained delay in introducing amendments to the Assisted Human Reproduction (AHR) Bill. Irish Gay Dads provides an easy-to-use template to facilitate this process and encourage swift action.