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06th Jul 2022

Rosanna Davison says new surrogacy report is “historic” for Ireland

Ellen Fitzpatrick

Rosanna welcomed her daughter through surrogacy.

Rosanna Davison is speaking out about a “historic” surrogacy report after it was welcomed by the Oireachtas Committee on International Surrogacy.

The report includes 32 recommendations, one being that the committee is to recognise both parents of a child born through an international surrogacy agreement as legal parents.

The former Miss World welcomed her first child, Sophia, through surrogacy in 2019 after years of struggling with fertility issues.

The report has also called for the establishment of a National Surrogacy Register for children to be able to access their own information as they get to the age of 12.

Speaking on Newstalk’s Pat Kenny Show, Rosanna said: “This is a huge historic, emotional and incredibly exciting day for my family and hundreds of families across Ireland with children born through surrogacy and like many of them, we dreamt of having a baby – it didn’t work out the traditional way so we went down the surrogacy route.

“You don’t choose to do surrogacy lightly either, but we were successful, and I suppose we would deal with the legal challenges along the way as they happened.

“But with this set of recommendations, it paves the way for other couples to be able to pursue surrogacy and not face the challenges that we faced so it is hue, it is historic.

“I’m so grateful to the Government, to the Joint Oireachtas committee and to everybody involved and of course Irish families through surrogacy have driven this campaign. It’s been years of hard work, hard campaigning, people never giving up hope.”

Rosanna welcomed her twin sons in October 2020, a year after Sophia was born and said she dreaded the day she had to tell her daughter that she was born a different way than her brothers, and that in Irish law she didn’t have the same rights they did.

Rosanna’s husband Wes legally became Sophia’s recognised parent but she wanted to wait until the outcome of the surrogacy bill as the Irish State currently does not recognise Rosanna’s biological daughter as her daughter.

She continued: “My husband Wes was able to become her legally recognised parent. He got his parental order in the courts and then after that, I could have applied to be her legal guardian when she turned two. I didn’t. I held up hoping that we would have some positive news eventually from this.

“But then my legal rights to be her guardian would have been up by the time she turned 18 and again with it, it brought so many different complications. If something had happened to my husband, if our relationship had broken down, I would have no legal right over Sophia as her mother, her parent, her protector.

“I have two twin boys, Hugo and Oscar, born naturally in 2020 and I was dreading the day that I would have to have the conversation with Sophia to explain to her that not only did I not carry her, but she is not seen as equal to them in the eyes of the laws despite being siblings, despite them all being my biological children.

“So I feel now I can explain everything to her when she is older and when the time is right but I won’t have to have that conversation. I won’t have to know that she is growing up feeling unequal to her brothers.”