Same-Sex Parenting Series

“I never thought that one day I would be on the phone with my sister giving her advice about parenting. I always thought that they would have kids and Dan and I would be the awesome ‘guncles’ (gay uncles). I was 21 when I came out, and despite all my fears, I had the full support of my family and friends. I could have come out earlier but I struggled, one reason being that I always wanted kids. I am from a big and very sociable family, and it felt natural to me to have children and to be a Dad. I felt that being gay would mean that I would have to give up on having kids. But I took the plunge, came out and met my soulmate Dan, who felt exactly as I did about having kids. After years of planning, researching, travelling to Canada, and all the ups and downs inherent with surrogacy, we had our son Tadhg. Chatting to my sister on the phone, swapping advice about raising kids, feels so natural now that Dan and I don’t even think about it. Our dream has come true, like any parent. Every now and then we have to stop for a moment to reflect just how far we have come, not only as a couple but also as a country. We, and the many gay Dads we know, are some of the first men in Ireland to have kids in this way. Personally, we experience only acceptance in our daily lives. We feel very much like a normal family, and in years to come, we will all be proud to say to our kids that we were all part of this change, this normalisation. Our generation came from a time where being gay was a crime, and now we can make choices around getting married, or having kids – that is pretty amazing, exciting and makes us incredibly proud to be Irish. Sadly, the fact that Tadhg is not yet recognised in Ireland as our son is the missing piece of our family’s puzzle – but it is this, the most important piece, that is proving the hardest to find.”