Demand for surrogacy amongst Irish citizens who cannot carry a child themselves has continued to grow. With no legal recognition of domestic surrogacy in Ireland, nearly all to venture abroad to fulfil their dream of a family
To complicate matters, there have been huge changes in surrogacy availability in recent years. Once Irish citizens had little option but US surrogacy, but Ireland’s government has approved the drafting of an Assisted Human Reproduction Bill which will for the first time make altruistic surrogacy legal in Ireland. However the draft bill has so many restrictions that unless these are relaxed, it is more likely to deter the Irish from engaging domestically.
Meanwhile in recent years gay Irish couples have engaged in Thailand, India, Nepal, Cambodia and more recently Mexico. But Asian countries have closed their doors to foreign surrogacy, leading to renewed interest in the US and a surge in interest in Canada. Kenya, Russia and even Nicaragua are starting to offer surrogacy to fill the void left when Asian nations closed. However a raft of complexities remain, not least of which is choosing reliable providers in the absence of protective laws.
Families Through Surrogacy is hosting its third Ireland conference for intended parents in Croke Park, Dublin on 11 March. The conference has become so popular it has outgrown its original venue – the Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire. Expert speakers are coming from as close as Galway and as far as the US, Ukraine, Australia, Kenya and Canada.
The events’ popularity lies in its honesty – putting parents and surrogates front and centre, sharing their real-life journeys. At least four gay dads will share their stories of surrogacy in Canada, the UK & the US, given parents own journeys a great way to gain peace-of-mind.
Some surrogacy providers are painstaking about their selection and care of surrogates as well as client needs. Yet there are traps here too, with some dodgy agencies paying parents large sums to post positive video reviews online of their experience, even when their actual experience was mediocre to poor.
This year’s conference has a focus on best practice in Canadian & US surrogacy, with leading professionals exploring the complexities of surrogacy arrangements and how best to lay the legal and financial groundwork for successful journeys. Sessions will address some of the tough questions about trust, logistics, sourcing donors and parental rights. Topics not to miss include the nuts and bolts of surrogacy processes; surrogacy options in Ireland and abroad, research on how gay Irish dads integrate their ‘gay’ and father’ identities; parent panels; and issues in choosing an egg donor.
Tickets from €50 including lunch, morning & afternoon tea.
Visit Families Through Surrogacy website to find out more.
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