All over Ireland, a resilient and thriving community of gay dads are on an extraordinary quest to build families of their own. These individuals, bound by love and a profound desire for parenthood, are forging new paths through a landscape that is progressively recognising and celebrating diversity. In this vibrant journey toward creating loving and inclusive homes, Irish gay dads are exploring a diverse range of family planning options, each one uniquely tailored to their needs and aspirations. From adoption to surrogacy, co-parenting arrangements to fostering, they are navigating this uncharted territory with courage, determination, and unwavering commitment, paving the way for a more inclusive and accepting Ireland where love knows no boundaries.
Below we have supplied some family planning options that empower you to turn your dreams into cherished realities.
Where can Irish Gay Dads adopt from?
Same sex couples can apply to adopt either domestically (in Ireland) or internationally (Intercountry Adoption).
Internationally, there are limited countries available to same sex couples for Intercountry Adoption. In fact, the only country currently open to same sex couples is the United States. This is due to the fact that Ireland and the outgoing country must both be signatories to the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. Irish Gay Dads who have applied to adopt from the US have had success in having a child placed with them. Full details of the US program can be found on the AAI website here.
Domestically, there have been limited known cases (to Irish Gay Dads) of completed adoptions where a child was placed with a same sex couple.
We suggest you contact Túsla or Helping Hands Adoption Agency for information on fee schedules.
What do members of Irish Gay Dads say about the process?
Séamus Kearney Martone and his husband Ludovico adopted their little daughter from the United States. Speaking of the process, Séamus says: “We attended our first Túsla information event in early 2017. After you submit your initial paperwork, you speak with a social worker to discuss if you want to proceed. In early 2018 we completed our group training sessions. At the time, these we split into six half day sessions. We were then assigned our social worker in September 2018, and our assessment began immediately. Our home study report was finalised in June 2019 and we were declared eligible and suitable to adopt in July 2019.”
So what happened once you were declared eligible to adopt?
“Once you have your Declaration of Eligibility and Suitability, you liaise with Helping Hands (Intercountry Adoption) who introduced us to Adoption ARC in the United States. Once you complete a dossier of specific documents and send to the US, you are then placed on an adoption matching list. We were matched with our daughter in September 2021.”
Speaking about his daughter, Séamus states: “Our daughter was adopted from the USA via Intercountry Adoption. We met her when she was just 17 days old, and we have been inseparable since. She is the sweetest, smiliest, most loving little girl, with a personality larger than her years. She has brought an unquantifiable amount of love & joy into our lives, not just to our own little family, but also to our wider family & circle of friends. We recently celebrated Maisie’s second birthday & it is still surreal for both of us. After all the planning, dreaming, & sometimes heartache, we get to celebrate our little baby girls initial milestones. We cannot wait to watch her grow & are amazed at how quickly she changes and develops.”
Is there anyone I can speak to with a lived experience?
Irish Gay Dads has a number of members who have adopted via Intercountry Adoption from the United States. We also have members who adopted from the United Kingdom. (Note: you must be habitually resident for no less than one year or domiciled in the UK in order to apply to adopt in the UK. Additional information can be found here).
For further information, or to speak with a couple who have been through the process, please reach out to email@example.com
Have You Ever Thought About Making a Difference in the Life of Child?
Foster care aims to provide a safe, secure, and stable home environment for children/young people, who are not able to live with their own parents. Do you know you can provide different types of foster care depending on your own circumstances and availability? You could provide Respite Care: typically caring for a child one weekend every few months; Emergency Foster Care and/or Short-Term Care: caring for a child anywhere between a few days to a few months; Pre-Adoptive Foster Care: to provide care for babies who have been placed for adoption; Long Term Foster Care: is needed for children who are unlikely to be able to return to live with their birth family.
Ongoing Crisis Finding Foster Parents for Local Children
Sadly, the situation we are in at present in all counties in Ireland is that we have more children coming into foster care than we have available foster carers. All too often, this results in local children having to live far away from their communities, schools and people who are familiar to them. A shortage of available of foster carers might also mean that siblings have to live some distance apart. As you can imagine, entering into foster care can be a scary experience for any child, without that added element of having to live so far away from everyone they know and love. This is why local children need local carers.
The Impact of Fostering
Dispelling Myths About Who Can Foster
There are many myths about who can foster. We want to dispel these myths and ensure that everyone knows that if you are interested in fostering, it is worth making contact with us. Our priority is to ensure that we have families that meet the needs of children in care and one size does not fit all.
Did you know that you can apply to become a foster carer regardless of: • Whether you own your own home or not. The most important thing is that your home can accommodate a foster child/ren • Your marital status, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation. • Your age. Age isn’t a concern as long as you are relatively fit and healthy to care for a child.
Find out more about fostering local children: www.fostering.ie
Pending the commencement of legislation which will introduce regulatory oversight of international surrogacy arrangements, we continue to advise intended parents to complete their due diligence. See below some of our guidance and advice to intended parents BEFORE starting their surrogacy journey
Request written confirmation from the surrogate's lawyer that in their professional opinion, after the surrogate has received independent legal advice, the surrogate's consent is fully informed, voluntary and that she understands the process.
Request written confirmation from the surrogate's counsellor that in their professional opinion, after the surrogate has received independent counselling, the surrogate's consent is fully informed, voluntary and that she understands the process.
If the surrogate is not normally resident in the country where the surrogacy and birth will take place, this places a much greater duty and responsibility on intended parents to speak directly to the surrogate or through her independent lawyer before starting their surrogacy journey to clarify why the surrogate is choosing to travel to another country, how her rights, interests, and welfare are being protected, what counselling, support, and services are provided for the surrogate, her children, and family during the surrogacy journey.
NOTE: IGD strongly encourages and advises intended parents to pursue surrogacy arrangements only where the surrogate is a resident in the country where the surrogacy and birth will take place.
If intended parents are receiving advice and information from any third parties or professionals, it's essential to clarify whether that third party is receiving or has previously received or requested referral fees or any financial benefit from any agency.
If any intended parents have any questions or queries, please contact IGD. You will receive up-to-date, honest guidance, information, and support from Irish parents you can trust who are completing or have completed their journey to parenthood through surrogacy.