Surrogate motherhood and same-sex couples

Information

Surrogate motherhood happens when a woman agrees to be artificially inseminated or to have an embryo transferred to her womb in order to become pregnant. She then carries the child to term with the intention of giving the custody of the child to the person/couple with whom she has made the agreement.

Traditionally, the surrogate mother is considered the legal mother of the child and is the child's guardian. Private adoptions are not permitted in Ireland, and a parent of a child is prohibited from receiving any payment for giving away a child for adoption. If the child is being adopted, this must be done through the Adoption Authority of Ireland, and there is no guarantee that the child of a surrogate mother will be placed with the biological father.

In theory, a man could donate sperm so that his child could be conceived by a surrogate mother (as long as he did not pay her). He could then apply to the Adoption Authority for permission to adopt his child. When making its decision, the Adoption Authority must consider the welfare of the child.

There is more information in our document on surogacy.

You can also read more about adoption procedures in Ireland and inter-country adoptions.

Page edited: 4 July 2013