Sam Everingham, Global Director of Growing Families, an Australian organisation which provides advice to parents on international surrogacy, said Irish parents could struggle to find surrogates abroad at all if payments are banned.
The surrogacy landscape is constantly changing. India has banned international surrogacy; Georgia will follow suit next year; while Ukraine – previously a very popular destination for Irish couples – is now not a safe option.
This problem was starkly highlighted just last month in Greece, when eight people were arrested at a major fertility clinic in Crete, and are now under investigation for trafficking vulnerable women from countries like Georgia and Albania to become surrogates for foreign couples.
During an interview following a recent conference in Dublin, Prime Time asked Sam Everingham why his organisation had recommended the clinic. He initially disputed that contention, saying his organisation does not recommend any clinic or agency, and that simply it provides information. However, after further questions he conceded that the language on his site represented a recommendation.
Mr Everingham also conceded that Growing Families cannot stand over the accuracy of any of the content provided on its website. He said the website constitutes a repository of information provided to it by others and therefore his organisation is not responsible for the veracity of the material provided.