Having a baby is a priceless experience, but if you’re a foreigner in a different country, it can be daunting to navigate new healthcare systems and impending medical expenses.
However, if you’re an expat in Ireland, you’re in a wonderful place to have a baby. There are approximately 200 babies born every day, and if you’re a legal resident, the state will pay for most or all of the costs associated with your pregnancy and birth. But as a tourist or non-resident, you’ll want to know what costs are involved with treatments and your delivery. Read on to find out more about how much it costs for hospital visits, fertility treatments, and delivering a baby in Ireland.
One in six couples experiences fertility struggles in Ireland. As an alternative to conception, adoption can be a long and difficult road. So many couples turn to options like in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) to jumpstart a pregnancy.
Can a non-resident or visitor on a tourist or other visa go through IVF or fertility treatment? Is medical tourism a thing in Ireland?
Ireland isn’t the most popular destination for medical tourism in Europe, especially when it comes to IVF. Many people instead go to Spain, Denmark or the Czech Republic. However, if you’re a tourist seeking IVF in Ireland, you shouldn’t have a problem going to a private facility for treatment and then pay for the costs out of pocket.
|IVF fertility treatment in Ireland||Average cost (EUR)|
|IVF process (total costs)||€4,500|
|Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)||€4,900|
|Donor eggs or embryos||€8,700|
|Frozen embryo transfer (FET)||€1,100|
|Embryo cryopreservation, yearly||€600|
Is there any type of financial assistance or health insurance that will cover part or all of the IVF procedure in Ireland?
Some private insurance schemes and centres will subsidise partial treatment for IVF. For example, LAYA healthcare offers €1,000 twice in a lifetime for certain fertility treatments, depending on your plan.
Also, in 2019 it's expected that the Irish government will pay for IVF treatment for couples, but this will likely only apply to those who qualify for state-funded medical care. Read on to find out more about who qualifies for state-funded care.
For more information on IVF and fertility treatments in Ireland, visit the Ireland Citizens Information website.
There’s a nearly universal healthcare system in Ireland, but some people have to pay fees for doctor visits. Many people choose to go private or semi-private with their medical care. When it comes to pregnancy and maternity care, if you qualify for state healthcare you'll get free services from the state. This can help because if you go private, the cost of a birth can add up:
- Total average private hospital bill for a regular birth: €3,000-6,000
- Total average private hospital bill with a c-section: €5,000-11,000
Can a non-resident or visitor on a tourist or other visa deliver a baby in Ireland? Is birth tourism a thing in Ireland?
Some visitors will be entitled to publicly funded healthcare, particularly people from EU countries. Ireland and Australia also have reciprocal agreements where visitors from Australia also qualify for the Irish public healthcare system. However, visitors from other countries won't be entitled to free or subsidised health services but will be allowed to have a baby there - especially in the case of an emergency. The problem is you that might be stuck footing the bill unless you have international health insurance to help cover the costs.
Even without healthcare in Ireland, the costs of having a baby aren’t as expensive as they are in other Western countries, like the United States or Germany. You’ll find that due to heavy state subsidies, your worst-case scenario cost-wise is still fairly reasonable.
|Baby delivery medical procedures in Ireland||Average cost with insurance or Medicare coverage/rebates||Average cost without insurance|
|Prenatal doctor visit and care||0 Euros||€100-200|
|Prenatal ultrasound||0 Euros||€90|
|Birth and delivery in the hospital||0 Euros||€3,000-5,000|
|Cesarean section in the hospital||0 Euros||€4,000-6,000|
|Home birth and delivery with midwife||0 Euros||€2,400|
On average, the stay in hospital for new moms in Ireland is fairly short. You should bank on being in hospital for under a week if all goes well. If you have any complications, the medical staff will keep you and your baby under supervision until they feel you’re both well enough to go home.
Mothers in Ireland spend an average of 3 days in the hospital after a birth. If you have a c-section delivery you'll probably need stay longer to recover.
You should bring comfort items for both mom and baby (and dad/partner in case of a long labour). You might want to pack slippers, socks, a robe, extra clothes and toiletries for mom, and blankets and a going home outfit for your new baby.
When the big day arrives, you should have the following documents ready when you go to the hospital to have your baby:
- Parents’ passports
- Parents’ visas (if applicable)
- Medical cards or health insurance information
- Birth plan information
- Maternity records
You have three months to register your baby’s birth with the local government offices in Ireland. The registration will allow you to get your baby’s birth certificate. In addition to information about your baby, you'll need to have information about the mother and father in order to register the birth. The fees you should expect to pay for a birth certificate are as follows:
- €20 for a standard birth certificate
- €1 for a copy for social welfare purposes (letter from Department of Social Protection required)
- €4 for an uncertified copy of an entry in the Register
- €10 for authentication of the certificate
If I am not a Irish national but have a baby in Ireland, will my child have to choose between nationalities or will they get Irish citizenship?
If your baby is born in Ireland, he or she may be entitled to citizenship if at least one of the parents is a Irish or British citizen. There are other circumstances in which your baby may be entitled to Irish citizenship through ancestry. You should check with the Irish authorities to see what your baby may qualify for. Since the Irish National Citizenship Act of 2004, children born to foreign nationals must undergo a process of proving a genuine link to Ireland.
Ireland recognizes dual citizenship, so if your child is eligible, it will likely be granted as long as the other country recognises this agreement with Ireland.
In Ireland, mothers are entitled to 26 weeks maternity leave, with an additional 16 weeks unpaid leave after this ends. Ireland also offers 2 weeks paternity leave. Paternity leave requires some paperwork, and provide 4 weeks’ notice to their employer before they can expect to be granted leave. Statutory pay for paternity leave is €230 a week.
Juggling lives between two nations? Want to save money? TransferWise borderless multi-currency accounts could help.
If you’re like millions of other expats around the world, you’re balancing the logistics of your life between two (or more) countries. This process can be a struggle. But rest assured that when it comes to handing your money, TransferWise is here to help.
TransferWise helps people worldwide save money when making overseas transfers. How do they do it? They offer low and transparent fees and give you the true market exchange rate - the one that you see on Google - not a rate that’s been hiked up by your bank.
Additionally, TransferWise also offers borderless accounts, which let you send and receive money in 28 currencies, including the Euro. This might come in handy when you’re living in Ireland. The borderless account also has a consumer debit card attached, so that you can spend and withdraw money from your flexible account. Check out TransferWise for additional information.
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This guide summarises what you need to know about having a baby in Ireland, a country committed to providing affordable and quality healthcare for mothers and their newborns. So whether you’re only visiting Ireland for IVF treatments or are moving there temporarily while you give birth, you and your loved ones will be in good hands.
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