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Fertility services and cohabiting couples


There are a number of different types of fertility services available in Ireland, including artificial insemination and in vitro fertilisation. There is no Irish legislation dealing with assisted reproduction, and the Irish Medical Council's Guide to Professional Conduct and Ethics for Registered Medical Practitioners does not specifically prevent unmarried partners from availing of fertility treatments.

Fertility services are generally available to applicants who are in a "stable relationship". This is understood to mean married and cohabiting opposite-sex couples. In practice, Irish clinics generally refuse to make assisted reproduction available to cohabiting same-sex couples. It has not yet been decided by an Irish court whether this refusal amounts to discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation under the Equal Status Act 2000 or the Equality Act 2004.


National Infertility Support and Information Group (NISIG)

PO Box 131
Eglinton Street

Locall:1890 647444

Page updated: 12 January 2011



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If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.