Mark Feehily Won The Global Recognition Award for Diversity for His Work to Change Irish Surrogacy Laws

The Westlife band member was celebrated at the British Diversity Awards at London’s Grand Connaught Rooms for his work to promote equality and better support for LGBTQ+ families.

Mark and his partner Cailean welcomed their first child Layla through surrogacy in 2019 and her birth inspired him to speak up about surrogacy laws in Ireland.

On Thursday (March 10) he was awarded The Global Recognition Award for Diversity 2022 for being outspoken about Ireland’s surrogacy laws, after actively and continuously calling on Irish government to put surrogacy legislation in place.

“This is an incredible honor and the most meaningful award I have collected in my career,” Mark said in his acceptance speech. I am proud and I hope it goes some way towards highlighting the issues still faced by LGBT+ families who want to start families of their own.”

Mark has spoken previously about the anxiety that surrogacy laws can have over parents ‘The psychology of it and the stress of constantly waking up and going to sleep knowing that you’re not officially a child’s legal guardian, everybody knows that parenting has its challenges and it’s not the easiest thing in the world already, so to have all that extra stuff to worry about and stress about is just very unhelpful.”

Feehliy took the opportunity to speak about the surrogacy issue in Ireland in almost every interview. “I think it’s really important that Ireland [acts] quite quickly,” he said back in June during a Westlife interview, “seeing as the amount of people that are having children through surrogacy, whether it be same-sex parents or not, the fact is the children are here, they are born, and they deserve to be recognized.”

In Ireland, there is currently no legislation surrounding this and under Irish law, the surrogate is considered to be the legal mother. Mark feels that this needs to change to accommodate all families in the country, not just the ‘traditional’ ones.