Audrey and I met in college in 2008. We were an unlikely couple. I’m originally from Chicago and she was born and bred in Ballyfermot, Dublin. But something sparked between us and once we started dating, that was it for us. We are coming up on 11 years together. We have two beautiful daughters. Ava is 2 and our youngest, Arya who is 3 months old.
When we had our first appointment at a Dublin fertility clinic in 2015, we were devastated to learn that Reciprocal IVF is not yet legal in Ireland. The doctors advised us to travel to the UK or Europe if that was the route we wanted to go down. We were certain that’s what we wanted and so, we went to Barcelona in late 2015. It was a hard process, physically, emotionally and financially. Because it was Reciprocal, it meant the IVF treatment was split between us, which did help to lessen the load rather than one of us undergoing the full treatment alone. We were very lucky that after an early loss, on our second try, I became pregnant with Ava.
We got married in 2016. It was a beautiful time to be Irish. Marriage equality had come in. We felt as though we had been accepted as equals in our own country. I was also 5 months pregnant. Naively, we thought that because we were now married, that parental equality would be a given.
How wrong we were.
In the month before I gave birth, we found out some hard truths. Because I would give birth I would automatically be declared the birth and biological mother of our child. And Audrey, the real biological mother, would have zero rights. We could not believe this was the case. At the time we were hopeful that the law would change soon. After all, in 2015 a bill was passed that was supposed to allow recognition for same sex parents. And so we waited patiently and believed that by the time our next child was born, we would have full equality.
When we were ready to try for baby number two, in late 2017, we went back to Spain. However after some failed transfers, we decided to change clinics. We did a lot of research and ended up going to a clinic called Ferticentro in Portugal.
Fertility Options for Female Couples:
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Issue 31 - Summer 2019