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30th Jul 2019

‘It’s wonderful… she is helping to normalise surrogacy for others’: Fertility coach praises Rosanna Davison

'It’s probably more common than we think.'

Anna O'Rourke

“Rosanna and Wesley are so brave to have endured what they have but also to speak so publicly about it.”

After years of trying, Rosanna Davison is set to become a mum.

The blogger and author recently shared the happy news that she and husband Wesley Quirke are expecting a baby girl via a surrogate.

“We’ve dreamed of being parents for many years,” she wrote in her Instagram announcement.

“I would have loved to carry my own baby, but for reasons unknown… I’ve been unable to sustain any of my pregnancies.”

Friends and followers alike have commended her for her openness.

“Well done for sharing and being so brave, raising awareness and giving other people hope,” commented makeup artist Tara O’Farrell.

Presenter Kathrine Thomas responded; “Your honesty Rosie is admirable and your words of support when I was finally pregnant but still on the rocky road will always stay with me.”

Most often associated with dramatic TV soap plot lines and Hollywood celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Rosanna’s decision to speak about using a surrogate helps to make the practice more accessible.


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Fertility coach Alison Reede has said the couple’s openness is significant.

“This is just such wonderful and exciting news,” she told Her.

“I think Rosanna and Wesley are so brave to have endured what they have but also to speak so publicly about it.

“There is not a lot of information in Ireland on surrogacy, so any exposure like this will help raise awareness on the topic but also normalise it for those considering this route to having a family, for whatever reason.”

Alison knows the pain of infertility all too well. She and her husband tried for five years, enduring six rounds of IVF and losing a pregnancy at ten weeks, before welcoming twin girls.

“Any miscarriage is so tough and devastating so this news really demonstrates Rosanna and Wesley’s strength and resilience to keep fighting for their dream of a family – but also their self belief and not giving up.

“It’s an extremely hard thing to come to terms with but when the time is right to go down that road [of surrogacy] couples will know.”

Though we are getting better at speaking openly about infertility, couples who use a surrogate often keep it to themselves for a variety of reasons.

Society is generally supportive of couples trying to conceive now but it still feels like a private struggle for many.

“I don’t think there is necessarily a stigma with it but more that it’s a highly personal, emotional and sensitive issue so it’s hard to talk about it publicly,” said Alison, who guides clients through their struggles with infertility.

“I think Ireland has moved on and most people are open-minded and would have nothing but support and admiration for a couple choosing surrogacy or indeed any other route to parenthood.”

Pondering on this, Rosanna herself said that speaking out has helped her.

“As painful as it is, I’ve found that talking about it openly with trusted family and friends is deeply healing and greatly helps to reduce the stigma and sense of helplessness.”

And as quiet as people may be about surrogacy in this country, it is happening.

Ireland has not yet legislated for the practice. To have a child via surrogate in Ireland, you’ll need to know someone you know who is willing to carry the baby for you.

Many therefore go to countries like the Ukraine and the US, using commercial surrogates.

Figures released by the Department of Foreign Affairs last year showed that at least 159 babies were born to Irish people abroad via a surrogate between 2010 and 2018.

“It’s probably more common than we think, especially with relatively easy access to surrogates in Europe and the US,” Alison said.

“Several of my clients have gone this route but typically not without exhausting all other options they have available to them to have a family.”

So where can Irish people interested in surrogacy find out more?

It’ll usually be down the list of options for people struggling to conceive and so your fertility clinic should be able to talk to you about surrogacy.

This document from the Department of Justice has plenty of useful information about the legalities of surrogacy. You should also talk to a solicitor.

Anyone considering surrogacy may benefit from emotional support too. Counselling or fertility coaching are worthwhile options.

You’ll be able to speak to people who’ve been through the process though the National Infertility Support and Information Group.

You can find out more about Alison and what she does at