An Introduction To Surrogacy

For many the process of meeting someone and starting a family is a relatively straight-forward process. For others it can be a long, difficult and emotional process.

The Surrogacy & Fertility law team at Poe Kiely Hogan Lanigan understands these issues and the concerns which prospective parents will have as they embark upon their journey through Surrogacy.

Over the years the team has assisted many different couples in a sensitive and confidential manner as they begin their quest to start a family of their own.


Domestic Surrogacy or International Surrogacy

Surrogacy is typically termed as either Domestic Surrogacy (the surrogate mother is living in and gives birth in the Irish State) or International Surrogacy (the intended parents enter into an arrangement with a surrogate mother in another country).

Because of the current legal position in Ireland, couples considering domestic surrogacy will be stepping into an unofficial and unregulated surrogacy arrangement. This is something which if not properly managed can lead to major complications for the intended parents (and the child) as many questions can arise - not least - who is the legal parent of the child?

In Ireland the parents of a child are legally defined as the women who physically gives birth to the child and by the DNA of the father.

Different countries will have different arrangements in place regarding surrogacy. Some ban surrogacy completely, whereas others permit altruistic surrogacy and not commercial. Likewise, some countries will allow both altruistic and commercial surrogacy arrangements whereas others may not allow same-sex couples to receive a child through surrogacy.

The 'unofficial' and 'unregulated' nature of domestic surrogacy in Ireland has lead to many couples exploring international surrogacy. Some countries allow international surrogacy arrangements and will have clinics and other professionals dedicated to helping foreign couples to have a child through surrogacy.

It is essential that intended parents look carefully at the surrogacy arrangements and fully understand the duties, responsibilities and obligations of all parties to the surrogacy agreements before embarking on their journey.

Take advice as early as possible so that you know what the legal requirements are and what steps you need to take in Ireland and in the country of birth throughout your surrogacy journey and after your child is born.

We would therefore advise all couples considering surrogacy to do their research on the host country, look into possible clinics to contact, look up the websites of international surrogacy organisations and draw up a list of the advantages and disadvantages of each approach. You may also be interested in our Free Checklist on the questions to ask your Surrogacy Clinic which you can find in our Surrogacy Resources Centre.

We appreciate and understand that the costs of international surrogacy are significant. These costs will include the fees to the clinic and agency, the surrogate mother's fees and/or expenses, travel costs, accommodation costs, medical insurance, legal fees in the country of birth, DNA test fees and Irish legal fees.

The more research you do at the start, the more questions you ask, the more information you get about these costs will ensure that intended parents have a clear and more definite financial budget of exactly what the entire surrogacy journey is going to cost them and avoid any unanticipated costs that they were not aware of before they started the journey.

Key Points When Considering
International Surrogacy

Research your Clinic


Look beyond the clinic website in order to ascertain that there are no issues/problems regarding compliance with the laws in that jurisdiction.


Search to see if there have been any problems/issues with the clinic in the past and try to find out if the clinic is represented in general surrogacy articles in that country.


Join online forums/ WhatsApp groups and speak with couples who have recently dealt with the clinic you are considering. Learn about other experiences and make sure the clinic's website reflects the experiences of these couples.


Make sure you know what you are paying for. Do not be tempted by less expensive fees as it may end up costing you more in the long run.

Make contact with your Irish Solicitor

Our Surrogacy & Fertility law team is more than happy to chat to any couple interested in exploring surrogacy.

Before you sign any contracts get in touch with your solicitor in Ireland so that they can discuss the surrogacy process, share their experiences with you and offer their guidance and assistance.

Contact The NISIG

The National Infertility Support Information Group offers support, advice and guidance for intending Irish parents throughout the surrogacy process.

They can be contacted via their website:, email: and telephone: 087 797 5058.

Why Do You Need A Solicitor?

Once you have decided to explore Surrogacy as an option, you may be asking the question, "Why do I need a Solicitor to have a child through Surrogacy?" This question is completely understandable, however, it is important to engage with a solicitor as early in the process as possible for several important reasons:

  • 1

    Different countries have different surrogacy laws. An experienced surrogacy solicitor will advise you whether you can proceed with the surrogacy process in the country you are considering and will advise you regarding the procedure to bring your child home.

  • 2

    There is no surrogacy legislation in Ireland. The Assisted Human Reproduction Bill was published in 2017.

  • 3

    It is important that your family's future is protected through the drafting of a specialist wills for those commencing their surrogacy journey.

  • 4

    It is essential that all surrogacy arrangements are regulated and covered by legal and binding enforceable agreements in the country of birth.

    In order to become the legally recognised parents of your child, we will lead you through the steps and Court process required to enable the biological father acquire parental rights, including guardianship and custody of the child in Ireland.

Whilst the issues and steps involved are quite complex, if you have engaged an experienced Surrogacy Solicitor, they will be able to guide you and keep you right as you navigate your way through the process.

What People Say

The best decision we ever made was to proceed with surrogacy, the second best was working with Annette, Ger and all at Poe Kiely Hogan Lanigan Solicitors.

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.

We can’t thank Annette enough for all her hard work and assistance. From the very start Annette made us feel comfortable on our surrogacy journey.

Why Us?

Every member of the Surrogacy & Fertility law team believes passionately that couples considering surrogacy as the means to realising their dreams of becoming parents need as much help and support as possible.

As such, we invest heavily in providing as much relevant information as possible so that intending couples can make informed decisions about their future.

Surrogacy can be a complex area with many different rules depending on the Countries involved and the decisions you make can lead to various legal implications.

You can be assured, however, that the team at Poe Kiely Hogan Lanigan has extensive experience advising Irish couples considering surrogacy, however, we also recognise that at the end of the day, no matter the paperwork and legislation involved, it is all about people, both parents and the child, and we therefore adopt an empathetic and compassionate approach in all that we do.

Please Get In Touch

If you would like to talk to us about Surrogacy and the options available to you, please fill in the form below to arrange a no obligation, introductory consultation

Yes, I am interested in finding out more about Surrogacy in Ireland
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