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'Monumental' Same sex couple make history as first in Ireland to be legally recognised as co-parents

Twins Réidín and Aoibhín were born on 4 February 2021 following sperm donor treatment.

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Twin girls Réidín and Aoibhín were born to delighted parents Niamh O'Sullivan and Geraldine Rea on 4 February 2021. Photo: Gerard McCarthy

Twin girls Réidín and Aoibhín were born to delighted parents Niamh O'Sullivan and Geraldine Rea on 4 February 2021. Photo: Gerard McCarthy

Twin girls Réidín and Aoibhín were born to delighted parents Niamh O'Sullivan and Geraldine Rea on 4 February 2021. Photo: Gerard McCarthy

A couple in Cork have become the first same-sex couple in Ireland to be legally recognised as co-parents. 

Proud mothers Niamh O’Sullivan and Geraldine Rea have made history this week as the first same sex female couple to register the birth of their twin girls with both their names on the official birth certificate.

“It is monumental for us and an historic step towards LGBT+ equality,” said new mum Niamh.

Twins Réidín and Aoibhín were born on 4 February 2021 following sperm donor treatment.

The couple had been attending a fertility clinic for over two years and last summer Geraldine 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,” said Geraldine.

“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.”

Their daughters’ births were registered this week following the enactment of legislation in May 2020, when the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 commenced.

The act allows for same-sex female couples to be legally recognised as co-parents of their children.

This means that the birth mother and the co-parent can now register with the Registrar for the Births, Deaths and Marriages as the parents of a child born as a result of a Donor Assisted Human Reproduction (DAHR) procedure.

“We were delighted when the legislation was enacted in May last year at a time when we were dreaming of becoming parents”, said Niamh.

“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 an historic step towards LGBT+ equality, as many children with same sex female parents can finally vindicate their right to have their family recognised,” Niamh added.

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