Big Brother’s Brian Dowling slams Ireland’s surrogacy laws

Irish reality television star Brian Dowling has blasted his country’s outdated surrogacy laws as he hopes to have a child with his husband in 2022

The winner of Big Brother 2001 and his husband, Arthur Gourounlian, have been open about their desire to become parents and hope that this year is the year it happens for them.

Brian, 43, and Arthur have said their hopes of becoming dads have been hampered by Ireland’s strict surrogacy laws.

Currently, surrogacy is unregulated in Irish law, and mothers of children born via surrogacy have no legal rights to their children – even if they were biologically related.

They have to wait two years before they can apply for parental rights.

He told the Mirror that the pair have high hopes of welcoming a child via surrogacy but they have experienced setbacks due to the strict laws.

He even went as far as to label the laws ‘absurd’

“I thought I would have been a parent last year, but there are no guarantees with surrogacy in Ireland. There are just some parts of it that are tough, but that’s life.

“I and Arthur might be struggling as gay parents, but there are many people out there who are just struggling.

“This isn’t just about gay guys and husbands trying to have families – everyone struggles. But I think in Ireland, the rules around surrogacy are absolutely ridiculous.

“The fact that the female egg is put into the surrogate, and then the surrogate is named as the biological mother just isn’t right – they are not even related to the child.”

He revealed that when they eventually become parents, one of them will not be able to apply for parental rights for two years, something they have to face when it happens for them.

He said: “Over the past couple of years, I’ve had to learn a lot about life and fertility. I’m 44 and I can’t be 100 when my child starts school. The clock is ticking.”

Are you a same-sex couple hoping to have the help of a surrogate to have a child? We’d love to hear your story, email

Learn more about surrogacy:

Surrogacy explained

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