Ireland recognises two women as ‘birth’ parents

Lesbian activists have become the first same-sex couple in the Republic of Ireland to be named as legal parents on a birth certificate.

A Dublin court recognised Audrey Rooney as the second ‘mother’ of five-year-old Ava and Arya, aged two, alongside Ranae von Meding – CEO of an LGBT lobby group.

In both instances, Rooney’s egg was fertilised by a sperm donor, but von Meding gave birth to the baby – a procedure known as ‘reciprocal’ IVF.


The Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 (CFRA), which came into effect in the Republic in May last year, provides a legal framework for children born using sperm and/or eggs provided by a donor.

As a consequence, same-sex female couples who meet CFRA criteria can be granted the same legal rights as biological parents and can be named on birth certificates.

But von Meding’s lobby group, Equality for Children, claims the Act does not go far enough and is campaigning for it to include children born by surrogacy or conceived using artificial ‘at-home insemination’.

In 2010, Natalie Woods and Elizabeth Knowles became the first same-sex couple in England to sign a child’s birth certificate as parents, after Miss Woods conceived via a sperm donor.

Also see:

‘Grossly irresponsible’ C4 programme to help women find sperm donors

‘Don’t legalise commercial surrogacy’, says bioethicist

Judge says woman who gave birth cannot be listed as ‘father’

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