Rosanna Davison has once again called for an “urgent” change to Ireland’s surrogacy laws.
The former Miss World and her husband Wes Quirke welcomed their first child Sophia via gestational surrogate in November 2019, following years of fertility issues.
At present, surrogacy is unregulated in Irish law and mothers of children born via surrogacy, even through gestational surrogacy in which the child is biologically theirs, have no rights to their children.
Mothers who welcome a child via surrogacy have to wait two years before they can apply through the courts for parental rights, and are not entitled to any maternity benefits as they are currently not legally recognised as the child’s mother.
The mother or second parent of a child born through surrogacy also cannot legally consent to medical treatment for their child until they are awarded guardianship.
Speaking to RSVP magazine, the model mum said: “In general for someone who has a child through surrogacy, once they step foot in Ireland there is no legislation to cover them, they are legally vulnerable.”
“The parent needs to apply to be their child’s guardian, but that is only up until the age of 18 and after that you are a legal stranger to your child.”
“We are campaigning for legislation to ensure that no Irish child is left behind,” she explained.
Although Rosanna is Sophia’s biological mother, under the current Irish law she is “legally nothing” to her.
The 37-year-old is calling for something to be done urgently, as she doesn’t want Sophia to feel unequal to her brothers when she grows up.
Months after Sophia was born, Rosanna fell pregnant with her “miracle” twins Oscar and Hugo, after suffering 15 miscarriages in the past.
Rosanna gave birth to her twins boys in November 2020, just one year after Sophia was born via surrogate in Ukraine.
“I am completely and legally Hugo and Oscar’s mother but not Sophia’s in law. I don’t want her to grow up thinking she is in any way unequal to her brothers,” she said.
“The sooner it is dealt with the better for us and many families like us. I would like the legislation changed before Sophia grows up and understands what is going on.”
Rosanna explained: “From a day-to-day basis it doesn’t affect things, but if anything were to happen to the father or if the relationship were to break down the father could take the baby and the mother would have no say over it.”
“There is a committee in place now to look at the situation and make a decision but something needs to be done urgently.”