Irish diplomats have been "working through the night" to help Irish couples expecting a baby via surrogacy in Ukraine, the Foreign Affairs Minister says.
Amid concerns in the West that a Russian invasion of Ukraine is likely, there have also been growing concerns for families who are due to travel to Ukraine or are already there for surrogacy reasons.
It's believed around a dozen babies are due to be born to Irish parents through surrogacy in Ukraine between now and May.
On today's On The Record, Simon Coveney said work is continuing to help those involved.
He said: “Our team in the embassy in Kyiv and our consular team in Dublin have literally been working through the night with families, to try to ensure that families who have been involved in surrogacy over the last few days can get home safely.
“There are a number of families involved here and they’re all safe. A number of them are on their way home this afternoon, which is a good outcome.”
Other families are expecting children to be born in Ukraine in the coming days.
Minister Coveney says the advice to Irish citizens is not to travel, but authorities will "of course" work with families to find solutions and “unite parents with children that are being born”.
The minister also said it's likely that more airlines are likely to halt commercial flights to Kyiv in the coming days.
However, he said Ryanair is continuing to fly at the moment and the firm has been helpful in assisting Irish authorities' work with families.
Fine Gael Senator Mary Seery Kearney, who has previously raised the issue in the Seanad, said it's "extremely welcome" news that arrangements are being made for Irish couples to travel from Ukraine.
She said: “I understand the Department of Foreign Affairs has issued emergency travel documentation for children born through a surrogacy arrangement to Irish parents.
“My colleague, Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney, has confirmed this afternoon that the families involved are safe and that a number of them are currently on their way home.
“Our thoughts are also with the families of those expecting a baby in the coming weeks. No less effort will be put in to ensure the speedy return home to Ireland with their precious little ones."