Fertility Services

What is Surrogacy?

Surrogacy enables family creation for persons or couples where the intending parent or parents cannot carry a pregnancy. Most surrogacy practised today is gestational or IVF surrogacy where an embryo is created using the intending parents’ sperm and egg (or a donor egg or sperm, if required). The embryo is then transferred to the uterus of the surrogate who has no genetic connection with the child.

Common medical indications for surrogacy are situations where women are born without a uterus and where women sustain damage to or loss of their uterus, for example from cancer or surgery or haemorrhage in pregnancy.

Other women have serious medical conditions where pregnancy could prove fatal to them and their babies. There are also some specific but rare causes of infertility and recurrent miscarriage where surrogacy may be advised.

Same sex male couples, single men and transgender women also require surrogacy, if they wish to have a family.

Surrogacy is extremely complex from a legal point of view and there is currently no legislation regarding this in Ireland. However, it is currently being debated by the Oireachtas.

Merrion Fertility Clinic is licensed to provide domestic surrogacy. However, we have extremely strict requirements. There must be a definite medical indication for surrogacy and patients must also have a suitable family member or close friend who is willing to act as a surrogate.

There are strict requirements also for the surrogate.  All of those involved must be resident in Ireland and all must be willing to receive legal advice and attend counselling.

For Irish couples seeking surrogacy, the National Infertility and Support Group (NISIG) have outlined some important advice in their document on International Surrogacy

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