Families gather outside Leinster house to protest surrogacy laws 9 months ago

Families gather outside Leinster house to protest surrogacy laws

"We want our children to be afforded the same provisions as every child in Ireland."

Dozens of people gathered outside Leinster House on Tuesday morning to express their frustration at the lack of progress surrounding surrogacy laws in Ireland.

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There are concerns that a new draft bill on assisted human reproduction will exclude international surrogacy and leave families and children without any legal protection.

According to reports in The Business Post, the Government will only legislate for domestic surrogacy in the bill and won't deal with international surrogacy until a later date due to potential legal difficulties.

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Protesters say the Government must include international surrogacy as part of legislation surrounding assisted human reproduction.

According to Irish Families Through Surrogacy, 95% of Irish families who have pursued surrogacy have done so outside of the country.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne, spokesperson for the group Cathy Wheatley said:

"We want our children to be afforded the same provisions as every child in Ireland and have a legal relationship with both parents.

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"There are ways forward ... time has moved on, England legislated in 1985 for surrogacy and it is bonkers that in 2021 we have no legislation."

She went on to say families need a guarantee that international surrogacy will be included in the bill.

"All we are asking for is to create an ethical framework so that everyone is protected," she said.

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Former Miss World Rosanna Davison has publicly shown her support for the protest and has previously spoken out about legislation not recognising her as her own daughter's mother.

Rosanna welcomed her first daughter, Sophia, through a gestational surrogate from Ukraine in 2019.

In an Instagram post, the 37-year-old said that excluding international surrogacy from the bill "will affect hundreds of children and families across Ireland, including my own. Sophia and many other children will be left legally vulnerable and  unprotected."