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Lesbian couple becomes Ireland's first to be legally recognized as co-parents of children

New mothers Niamh O’Sullivan and Geraldine Rea are the first to legally register both their names on their children's official birth certificate.

Lesbian couple becomes Ireland's first to be legally recognized as co-parents of children
Image Source: Twitter/ PaschalSheehy

A lesbian couple in Cork, the second largest city in Ireland, has become the first in the country to be officially recognized as co-parents of children. The occasion is a monumental point in history, as it marks a major step forward in the civil rights of those in the LGBTQ+ community. Niamh O’Sullivan and Geraldine Rea are now the proud mothers of Réidín and Aoibhín, twin girls born on February 4 this year following sperm donor treatment. The two mothers have legally registered both their names on the children's official birth certificate, reports.




New mother O’Sullivan told the news outlet, "It is monumental for us and a historic step towards LGBT+ equality." The achievement is the result of several months of dedication and hard work. The couple had been regularly attending appointments at a local fertility clinic for over two years. It was only last summer that Rea finally became pregnant with twins. "We had been due to have the frozen embryo transfer in March 2020, but the week of the scheduled procedure the government lockdown came into place," Rea shared. "We were rescheduled and thanks to good timing and the hard work of the team at the clinic, the transfer took place two days after restrictions were lifted for fertility clinics, and we finally became pregnant."




The twin girls' births were registered this week after the enactment of legislation in May 2020, when the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 commenced. This act permits same-gender, women couples to be legally recognized as co-parents of their children. Therefore, this means that both the birth mother and the co-parent can now register with the Registrar for the Births, Deaths, and Marriages of Ireland as the parents of a child born as a result of a Donor Assisted Human Reproduction (DAHR) procedure.




O’Sullivan said of the progressive legislation, "We were delighted when the legislation was enacted in May last year at a time when we were dreaming of becoming parents. Little did we know then that fate would lead us to being the first to benefit from this new law. It is monumental for us and a historic step towards LGBT+ equality, as many children with [same-gender women] parents can finally vindicate their right to have their family recognized." Although O’Sullivan and Rea are the first mothers to avail the law, they will definitely not be the last. Several mothers are sure to follow, each making history of their own.



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