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Home safe Irish babies born in Ukraine to surrogates spend first night in Ireland amid crisis

Emergency travel documentation for those new-born babies has been issued by the DFA in order to expedite the process of coming to Ireland with their parents, which can often take several weeks.

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A leading surrogacy rights’ advocate has said an “extraordinary effort” has gone into bringing a number of Irish babies home from the Ukraine in recent days.

Three babies born to Irish parents via surrogacy in the Ukraine spent their first night in Ireland last night, while another family will arrive home in Ireland with their new-born today.

Over the weekend, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Irish Embassy officials in Ukraine have been “working through the night” to ensure that Irish families who travelled to Ukraine to meet their new babies born via surrogacy can come home as quickly as possible.

Emergency travel documentation for those new-born babies has been issued by the DFA in order to expedite the process of coming to Ireland with their parents, which can often take several weeks.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said all consular assistance has been given to a number of Irish parents who had to travel to the volatile region in order to be united with their new babies.

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Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney (Brian Lawless/PA)

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney (Brian Lawless/PA)

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney (Brian Lawless/PA)

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme, Senator Seery Kearney said she is “thrilled” that three new families were able to spend their first night in Ireland yesterday.

“We’re really pleased. It took an extraordinary effort from the Department of Foreign Affairs, most especially Ambassador (Thérèse) Healy and Mr (Neil) Barrett there on the ground in Ukraine,” she said.

“It was really a Trojan effort all around to ensure that all our families are home safe, however I’m acutely aware that there are babies that are due to be born in the coming weeks and there are families in Ireland and there are some people still over waiting for the birth of their baby in Ukraine.”

Senator Seery Kearney said some people have had to make the “difficult decision” not to travel to the Ukraine because of the DFA advice to avoid the country given the threat of war with Russia.

“They’re in negotiation with their clinics to ensure that there is nanny carer arrangements for their babies until such time as they can get to their babies. So, the intensive effort with families is continuing,” she added.

Meanwhile ahead of a meeting with the Ukrainian Foreign Minister today, Minister Simon Coveney said EU member states have put in place a “comprehensive package of sanction” aimed at Russia, but EU ministers have decided not to issue the sanctions at this stage and that is the “right decision”.

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“I suspect we will be discussing that approach again today but I think the main focus needs to be on preventing war rather than how we respond to it,” he said.

“The approach of the European Union has been on in two areas, one intensive diplomacy and two ensuring that there is a very strong deterrent to the invasion of Ukraine, and I think that is still the strategy.”

Minister Coveney added that preventative sanctions are not necessary, but a "clear” and “credible” message should be sent to Russian officials that any invasion of the Ukraine would trigger very significant sanctions by the EU.

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