A same-sex couple are heartbroken after their baby boy was denied a passport under outdated laws that claim Donegal woman Katie Gallagher is not his mother.

Katie Gallagher from Gweedore and her British wife Holly Groombridge had a little boy together in August via IVF treatment, The Irish Sun reports.

Katie, Holly and Griffin

Baby Griffin was born from one of Katie’s eggs, which was fertilised by a sperm donor and implanted in Holly’s womb.

The newly married couple who live in England are now frustrated as they cannot get an Irish passport for their baby. Holly is the only legally recognised mother of Griffin, according to Irish law, and they can only get him a British passport.

The Irish law defines children’s parents as ‘mother’ and ‘father’ only, and labelled Katie as a generic ‘parent’. As a result, their application for Griffin’s passport was denied.

Katie told the Irish Sun “We are so frustrated and heartbroken that we can’t get an Irish passport for our son because of an antiquated law passed in 1956.


“I applied for an Irish passport and on the form it states that if a child is born abroad, there must be an Irish parent, which I am.

“It doesn’t state mother and father, just parent. By law, Holly is down on ­Griffin’s birth cert as his mother because she gave birth to him and I am down as a parent.

“However, Irish law still only ­recognises a male and female parent and this hasn’t been addressed despite the historical same-sex ­marriage referendum.”

Katie said she and Holly were over the moon to conceive a baby after two unsuccessful IVF attempts.


“Griffin is biologically my child but Holly carried and nurtured him for nine months and formed a strong maternal bond with him.

“From day one, we wanted to create a family together and this way, we had an equal connection with our child. But in law, there can only be one mother and that title automatically goes to the woman who gives birth,” Katie said.

The couple are seeking to have the Irish law amended to reflect the cultural changes.

Katie said: “I just don’t want Griffin not to have the right to have an Irish passport because of a law that is essentially gender discrimination.”