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05th Oct 2021

Westlife’s Mark Feehily calls for surrogacy legislation in Ireland

“I’ll do anything for my child as any parent would.”

Westlife’s Mark Feehily is among campaigners calling for the introduction of surrogacy legislation in Ireland.

The singer and his partner, Cailean O’Neill, welcomed a baby girl, their daughter Layla via surrogate in 2019.

In calling for Irish surrogacy legislation, Feehily spoke about his own experience in becoming a dad.

He told RTÉ: “The biggest part for me is that I’m a dad and this directly affects my child and my family and so of course that’s the main reason, but also it’s an opportunity that I can’t let pass, to contribute in some small way to help in something very important.”

Mark explained that while he’s not always vocal on political matters, he felt he must speak out on the need for surrogacy legislation.

“It’s something that I didn’t even think twice about because I’ll do anything for my child as any parent would,” he said.

“It’s all about parents taking care of and minding their children and in order to do that 100%, we have to all be legally covered, you know, and that’s what this is all about. It’s quite a simple thing really.”

Feehily also spoke about how the current surrogacy legislation falls short in a video on Instagram.

Under current Irish surrogacy law, the only parent who can have legal guardianship over children born via surrogate is the biological father. Other parents must wait two years before applying to be their child’s guardian.

Last year, the campaign group, Equality for Children, determined that 60% of children born to LGBT+ families are not covered by the Children and Family Relationships Act of 2015.

The #StillNotEqual campaign continues to push for the recognition of children born to LGBT+ families in Ireland.

There is currently a Bill which covers surrogacy being drafted by the Department of Health.