Friday 6 December 2019

'No court ruling will take our twins away'

Helen and Kevin Hayes
Helen and Kevin Hayes

Claire McCormack

Surrogacy gave Helen Hayes a chance to become a mum for the first time, and she insists "no court ruling will take that away".

Despite a genetic mum losing a Supreme Court battle to be registered as her twins' legal mother this week, Helen (40), hopes her case may "fly under the radar".

Helen and her husband Kevin, from Carrigtwohill in Co Cork, knew many years ago that they'd have to consider alternative options to start their own family.

"Not being a mother was never an option, I always knew it would happen and we wanted a genetic child and it was very important," said the soon-to-be mum who will meet her twins born to her surrogate, Gael, living in Philadelphia, next February.

"Part of the reason we went to the States is because I will be recognised as the legal mother on their US birth certificates and it's something that is very, very important to me," she said.

This week, the Supreme Court ruled that a genetic mother of twins born to a surrogate is not entitled to be registered as their legal mother on their birth certificates in Ireland.

But the Cork couple are praying the ruling will not affect them because they underwent their surrogacy through an agency in the US.

"Our babies will get US passports so really we are coming in under the radar in that the Government don't know it as a surrogacy case," said Helen who works in computer IT.

However, Helan and Kevin said they are "very disappointed" by the Government's decision not to pass laws regulating surrogacy.

Helen added: "It's a desperate situation. All people are trying to do is build families and they are being totally penalised. If it's your own genetic make-up I don't see what the problem is."

So far the Hayes' have spent more than €140,000 and believes the ruling will have an "awful effect" on aspiring new mothers.

Helen added: "Women, like myself, who go to surrogacy obviously have a problem that we need somebody else to carry our babies and it's a very heavy burden to carry. And then to turn around and say that they are not the mother to your own genetic children is absolutely heart breaking."

The excited mother to be says she Skypes, calls and texts her surrogate on a regular basis and can't wait to travel to the US for the birth.

"We're over the moon, but it's a strange feeling too to think that another woman is having my babies but once we get them home, it will become more real, it will make everything worth it."

Sunday Independent

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