Edward O’Reilly told Independent.ie he cried “tears of joy” on the gruelling three-flight journey home to Ireland, touching down last Sunday.
The Dubliner was forced to hand over almost €40,000 to the adoption agency in recent days to secure his triplets’ release, having already paid the agency €50,000 for the adoption process.
Mr O’Reilly and his partner were hit with additional costs of almost €39,000 from the adoption agency and medics when they went to collect their children in Kenya in the days after their birth.
The couple, who did not have the funds, launched a high-profile public campaign to raise the money, with the general public donating some more than €36,000 to a gofundme campaign.
“Our daughters are home, finally,” Mr O’Reilly said told independent.ie.
“I just cannot thank the people of Ireland enough. I cried tears of joy all the way on the flights home. I am the happiest man in Ireland.”
The Dublin father and his sister flew out of Ireland last Friday night and returned home on Sunday morning with the triplets.
He explained that his solicitor transferred some of the money to the adoption agency, but he also had to “hand over €20,000 cash” when he landed in Kenya.
“The money doesn't matter now, it was just the best feeling in the world to get our children and be able to get out of there and bring them safely home.
“We had to pay them off, give cash to doctors and others, just to get our girls. It was the only way. The feeling to now have them home, it is unbelievable.”
Mr O’Reilly continued that the babies attended Temple Street hospital on Sunday night for a check-up since and are doing “really well”.
“They are doing great. They are great babies, they are very quiet and it is all going brilliantly since we got them home, where they belong. They are nine weeks old today,” he said.
“Again, can I just say, I cannot thank everyone who donated enough. It is only because of people’s generosity that we have our girls. People donated €36,000 and we still had to borrow another €2,900 from family just to get them out. None of that matters now. The only thing that matters is that they are home.” He said he "cried tears of joy" on the three flights it took to get his daughters home and "didn't sleep a wink....but it was worth it".
Mr O’Reilly and his partner, who live in Santry Cross in Dublin, were forced to leave Nairobi “heartbroken” on October 12 with just the birth certificates rather than their three baby girls.
They used a surrogacy service which cost €50,000 and were told all expenses were covered in the initial payment. However, they were asked for a further €16,000 when they arrived.
Then they were asked for another €12,000 in hospital bills for the babies’ medication and food, along with an extra €11,000 to pay the medics.
Mr O’Reilly set up a gofundme page, outlining the plight of their family.
Briella, Camilla, and Renesmee were born almost three months premature on September 1. When Edward and his partner flew over to collect their babies four days later, they were not permitted to see them initially but instead were asked for more money.
The surrogacy agency also would not tell them which hospital their children were in without payment. However, the couple managed to find out themselves.
“As soon as we arrived in Kenya after they were born, and went to the surrogacy agency, alarm bells started to ring,” he said.
“I just wanted to see my kids and they kept asking about money. I was gobsmacked.
“We knew there might be medical complications, because they were triplets, but we were told they were OK. But when we finally saw them we couldn’t believe it. The girls had 20 tubes coming out of them. It was terrifying.”
Doctors initially thought Camilla might not survive.
Mr O’Reilly and his partner enlisted a solicitor in Ireland, who liaised with the surrogacy agency in Kenya about the additional money the company demanded.
Mr O’Reilly warned what happened to his family could happen to other Irish couples, and called for the Government to intervene.
“We are not the first couple for this to happen to and we won’t be the last,” he said.
“Ireland needs to change its surrogacy laws to protect children first, and their parents.
“People like us shouldn’t need to go abroad. We should have been able to have gone through the surrogacy process here in Ireland.”