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baby talk Westlife star Mark Feehily calls for change to surrogacy legislation

The singer and his partner Cailean O’Neill went through a surrogacy process that took more than three and a half years to welcome their daughter Layla into the world

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Westlife singer Mark Feehily (Picture: Cathal Burke / VIPIRELAND.COM)

Westlife singer Mark Feehily (Picture: Cathal Burke / VIPIRELAND.COM)

Westlife singer Mark Feehily (Picture: Cathal Burke / VIPIRELAND.COM)

Westlife’s Mark Feehily has called on the Government to change the current surrogacy legislation in Ireland.

The singer and his partner Cailean O’Neill welcomed their daughter Layla into the world in October 2019 through surrogacy, a process that took more than three and a half years and involved a lot of international travel.

Speaking to Amy Huberman on her Mamia and Me podcast, the 41-year-old opened up about how difficult surrogacy is in Ireland, especially for LGBTQ+ couples.

He said: “At the moment in Ireland the legislation is designed around the sort of more traditional heterosexual a man and a woman have a baby, and at the moment families who have children through surrogacy are having to squeeze themselves into the rules and the laws that have been made up for a completely different situation.

“Like put it this way I would love in the future not to have to go to the other side of the world to do what we’ve done.”

The Sligo native explained that many children born via surrogacy are not recognised in Ireland.

“Kids that are born through surrogacy at the moment when they come back to Ireland are having to sort of be fitted into the laws that were made up for a different set of people and I really think it’s important that Ireland, quite quickly seeing as the amount of people that are having children through surrogacy whether they be same-sex parents or not, the children are here, they’re born and they deserve to be recognised.

“It’s not an emergency because all the kids are loved and they have loving families and everything but they deserve to be taken care of legally and it’s not there at all and it just needs to speed up because these children are here now.”

Mark also told Amy about his exhausting journey to become a parent.

“I’d be crazy into the research and stuff, before we even began, making phone calls and enquiries, I did so much research,” the singer explained.

“From the day Layla was born to if you go back to the first time I Googled surrogacy for same-sex parents... It was about three-and-a-half years.

“We feel lucky as parents because people come into parenthood in many different ways, for us, especially the fact that we did it through surrogacy,” he added.

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