"They deserve to be recognised": Westlife's Mark Feehily calls for new surrogacy legislation in Ireland 5 months ago

"They deserve to be recognised": Westlife's Mark Feehily calls for new surrogacy legislation in Ireland

“The children are here. They’re born and they deserve to be recognised."

Westlife’s Mark Feehily has spoken candidly about Ireland's surrogacy legislation, calling for greater recognition for those born to LGBTQ parents.

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Back in 2019, Mark and his partner Cailean welcomed a baby girl, Layla, into their family. Now, Mark has said that Irish legislation is still far behind where they need to be when it comes to the rights of same sex couples.

Speaking on Aldi's Mamia & Me podcast Mark told Amy Huberman about how Irish legislation has impacted his family and why it needs to change.

"I loved to not have to go to the other side of the world to do what we did," he said. "It's Layla's equal rights, kids born through surrogacy at the moment, when they come back to Ireland are fit into law made for a different set of people.

"The children are here, they’re born and they deserve to be recognised. They deserve to be taken care of legally [...]  As a father, I feel a duty to do what I can to create a better world for my daughter to grow up in. "

Mark went on to say how he feels a lot of empathy for other couples going through the same process, and while he admits every parents journey to parenthood is different and unique, too many same sex parents are facing the same struggles.

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He said that many other same sex couples have contacted him for advice he can give them, and while the Westlife singer says he's "no expert," he's happy to give any type of insight he can to other parents.

"At the moment in Ireland the legislation is designed around the more traditional heterosexual, man and a woman have a baby," he said.

"Families who have children through surrogacy are having to squeeze themselves into the rules and the laws that have been made up for a completely different situation."

Mark and partner Cailean welcomed a baby via surrogacy in 2019. He announced that they were expecting a girl during one of the band's many Croke Park gigs.

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"That's an exclusive," he told the crowd, adding "I can't wait for her to grow up in this wonderful country."

You can hear Mark's full interview on June 15 on Mamia and Me.