Same-sex couple say hello to their special baby girl
A lesbian couple whose baby girl was born in the in the early hours of New Year's Day have declared that "love is the most important thing".
Speaking just a few hours after baby McErlane came into the world at 03.50am at the Mater Hospital in north Belfast, Michele Devlin said that for her and her partner Emma McErlane, "we think that love and security is the most important thing for our baby and in our lives now".
"All that other stuff that people go on about is irrelevant really," Michele added.
The baby, born weighing 8lb 12oz, has yet to be given a first name, but like any proud parents of a newborn, Emma and Michele are just glad their new arrival is healthy and thriving.
"Everybody is great," said Michele, recounting how she and Emma drove to hospital to the sound of the fireworks as the clocks struck midnight.
Their baby was born at the midwife-led maternity unit at the Mater Hospital, where Michele said the staff were "absolutely fantastic". "It's the first baby for us both, but it will be a week or two before we have a name - there aren't any contenders yet," said Michele. "We had to be a bit more intentional about having a baby than a heterosexual couple would be, so we got a donor and the rest, as they say, is history.
"Our baby wasn't the first to be born in the New Year, but we were the first at the Mater and everything went fantastic."