By Annette Hickey | 3 September 2019

What To Ask Your Clinic When Considering International Surrogacy

pkhl-international-surrogacyOne of the most important decisions which we believe couples need to consider when they are looking at surrogacy as an alternative route to parenthood is on deciding which Surrogacy Clinic to use.

Conducting your own thorough research into a prospective Clinic is paramount as you will need to have absolute confidence that they will conduct everything above board and according to internationally accepted standards. It is also imperative that where possible a couple should try to speak to at least one other Irish couple who have worked with the Clinic.

Whilst websites and online reviews are helpful, nothing beats speaking to someone with first-hand experience of the Clinic and receiving their open and honest feedback regarding the Clinic. Find out what they liked about the Clinic as well as any bad experiences which they may have experienced. Talking to another couple who have been through the process will provide you with their tips or advice based on their own experiences of the Clinic.

It is also important to speak to the Clinic(s) themselves to see where you feel you will be most comfortable and ask questions (and keep on asking questions) to ensure you are fully informed about the Clinic and before you are committed to an expensive process which you cannot get out of.

A few of the questions which we would recommend intending parents to ask their Clinic include:

  • How long has the Clinic been in business?
  • How many Irish couples they have worked with?
  • Who from the Clinic will be working with you? How accessible will that person be to you?
  • Who is available to answer any emergency questions?
  • Ask them about their screening process and also how they match intended parents with surrogates?
  • Ask them whether you can be present at the birth and what kind of contact they would recommend between the surrogate and intended parents as the norm
  • Ask them what your options are if the first surrogacy attempt doesn’t work and the costs of any subsequent attempts
  • Ask them about the costs:
    • Make sure you get a full breakdown of the costs
    • Make sure you get details of when each payment needs to be made
    • Make sure you have a full list of all potential extra costs that might arise and any other additional potential fees, costs and extras. No couple wants to find themselves committed to a surrogacy process where they discover during the process that there is an additional unexpected costs that they were not aware of.

Before you proceed you need to make sure the Clinic has provided answers to all of your questions and that you are reassured that they are the right Clinic for you. At the end of the day your gut feel will also guide you. You need to make sure the clinic understands how important this whole process is to you and that in return they will take the required care and attention of you, your baby and the surrogate mother throughout the process.

We hope these questions will help to guide you on your journey, however, always remember that there is no such thing as a stupid question. Ask as many questions as you feel necessary to establish the comfort and trust you need in order to move forward!

If you would like to discuss your own Surrogacy experiences, please do not hesitate to get in touch and a member of our team will be in touch.

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Written By Annette Hickey

Annette has exclusively practised family law in the litigation department for the past 10 years and heads up the firm's Surrogacy & Fertility law team.

She is highly respected and regarded for her expertise and knowledge of fertility law, surrogacy and same-sex family matters. Diligent, thorough and empathetic, Annette brings a wealth of experience, sensitivity and understanding to our team.

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Our Dedicated Surrogacy & Fertility Law Team

"Annette, Ger and her team were the calm oasis of advice, encouragement and legal clarity that helped us at every crucial stage, to realise our dream of bringing our precious baby home. The energy, pace and sense of urgency with which Annette drove our case for completion through the courts was breathtaking and we will forever be grateful for her support in safely guiding our family from our dream of becoming parents again to the reality holding baby in our arms."

Brian and Kathy Egan - Surrogacy & Fertility Law