Two Irish women have become one of the first same-sex couples in Ireland to be recognised as parents of their children, after a five year campaign.
Activist and CEO of Equality for Children, Ranae von Meding appeared on Wednesday in a Dublin court where her wife Audrey Rooney was recognised as a parent to their two daughters Ava (5) and Arya (2).
The couple’s first child was born in 2016, one year after the marriage equality referendum. They were a married couple at the time but only one of them was recognised as a legal parent.
The Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 came into effect last May which means both parents can be recorded on the childrens’ birth certificates, ensuring same-sex couples can have the same legal rights as parents.
However, Ms von Meding has highlighted that most children of LGBT+ families in Ireland still don’t qualify for recognition, where the children were conceived by surrogacy, home insemination, or were conceived or born abroad.
After several years of campaigning for her wife Audrey to be recognised as a legal parent to their two children, Ms von Meding said “it’s been a long road for us and we are exhausted from this fight”.
“So many other families are in the same situation, depleted from this fight but with no choice but to keep going.”
“It’s been 1,904 day since we became parents. The best days of our lives, that goes without saying, but they have also been some of the hardest and all because of what the government had failed to provide in the way of protection for children born via donor assisted human reproduction and surrogacy,” she said.
This had caused the family “uncertainty, anxiety and needless distress.”
“This afternoon my wife became a legal parent to our two children, her biological daughters, but the reality is that she was their mom since the moment we decided to have children together,” Ms von Meding said.
Equality for Children and other advocacy groups like Irish Families Through Surrogacy would continue to lobby the government for changes to legislation for other children and their families, Ms von Meding added.