An LGBTQ couple have called for Minister for Health Simon Harris to legislate for the equal rights of all same-sex parents in Ireland.
A post by mother of two, Ranae Von Meding, received a lot of attention over the weekend after she expressed the frustration faced by her and her wife as LGBTQ parents through a poem.
The married Dublin couple got engaged shortly after success of the Yes Equality campaign in the 2015 same-sex marriage referendum.
The couple now have 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.
The 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.
Ranae drafted the poem after a passport renewal process for her three-year-old daughter.
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.
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 on the passport application and fill in a single parent affidavit.
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.
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.
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.