Surrogacy may soon be available in clinics here
BABY: High Court ruling sees surge in interest
COUPLES may soon be able to able to avail of surrogacy services in Ireland without the need to travel abroad.
Surrogacy, in which a woman carries and delivers a child for another couple, is increasingly being examined by Irish couples who are affected by fertility or medical issues.
Interest in surrogacy here is likely to rise dramatically following a recent High Court ruling which makes it easier for parents to get legal recognition.
While there is no law against surrogacy, legal uncertainty prior to the ruling meant clinics were reluctant to offer it.
A leading Dublin fertility clinic has now confirmed it will consider offering surrogacy services within Ireland.
Professor Simon Fishel of Beacon Care Fertility told the Herald that "really we need to assess the demand".
"If there is a demand, then absolutely, we will support that," he said.
At the moment, those who wish to avail of a surrogacy service can be referred to one of the Care Fertility UK clinics.
"We do a lot of surrogacy work in the UK," said Professor Fishel.
He said: "We can facilitate satellite referral to the clinics in the UK if they need surrogacy."
New regulations mean that the Irish Medicines Board must approve any surrogacy procedures.
Until the recent High Court ruling, most mothers of children born by surrogacy were unable to be legally recognised as the parents.
However, a couple successfully challenged a decision by the State that only the surrogate mother could be registered as the legal mother.
Up to 200 mothers of children born by surrogacy are now entitled to go to court to be named as the legal parents of their children.
Meanwhile, Professor Fishel reported that the Dublin clinic has been busy since it opened its state-of-the art IVF clinic last November, which offers high-end technologies.
He said that there has been huge interest in egg freezing from Irish women.