Rosanna Davison announces birth of baby girl by surrogacy

Irish model posts about difficulty she and husband Wes Quirke had conceiving

Rosanna Davison with her daughter, Sophia Rose Quirke, who was born on November 21st. Photograph: Instagram/Rosanna Davison

Rosanna Davison with her daughter, Sophia Rose Quirke, who was born on November 21st. Photograph: Instagram/Rosanna Davison

 

Rosanna Davison and her husband, Wes Quirke, have had their first baby, the former Miss World has announced on Instagram, where she has documented their surrogacy journey. Their daughter, Sophia Rose Quirke, was born yesterday.

Davison, who is 35, and a nutritionist, posted a joyful message and photograph on the social-media platform, where she has 169,000 followers. “And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true,” her message began.

Their “beautiful and healthy daughter” was born at 11.57am, weighing 6lb 8oz. “She’s absolutely perfect. We’re completely overwhelmed with love and gratitude for our incredible gestational surrogate, who has given us the greatest gift of all and made our family dream a reality.”

In July Davison shared a long post, “Half you and half me”, saying she and Quirke, who married in 2014, were overjoyed to be expecting a baby girl and sharing their difficulties in conceiving.

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Half you and half me 💓 @wesquirke & I are overjoyed to share the news that we’re expecting a baby girl in November (by gestational surrogate) 🤰 As our families & close friends know, this has been a long & very tough journey for us, sadly with multiple miscarriages along the way 💔 We’ve dreamed of being parents for many years & I would have loved to carry my own baby, but for reasons unknown (most likely embryo rejection due to an overactive immune system) & although tests show excellent fertility, I’ve been unable to sustain any of my pregnancies, despite the best efforts of reproductive immunology experts & a lot of immune-suppressant medication, injections, intravenous infusions & surgery 💉 Following medical advice, gestational surrogacy abroad became our only viable option for a biological child & we’re so thankful for the wonders of modern medicine & reproductive science 👶🏼🔬 We’re incredibly grateful to the team of doctors, embryologists, nurses, pregnancy coordinators, my GP & everyone involved in giving us the greatest gift of all by making our family dream come true, and of course our amazing surrogate for keeping our little daughter healthy and safe... We already love her so much & can’t wait to finally hold her! 🤗❤️ . . However, I know too well that pregnancy loss & fertility struggles can be a profoundly lonely, frightening, devastating experience for both women & men, and happy pregnancy announcements can be very difficult to see. Statistically, 1 in 6 people in Ireland face fertility issues & almost 8,000 Irish couples undergo fertility treatment annually. If you’re going through this, I send you all of my love and support 💜 As painful as it is, I’ve found that talking about it openly with trusted family & friends is deeply healing & greatly helps to reduce the stigma & sense of helplessness. Proper awareness, support & understanding is crucial to the challenging physical & emotional recovery process, especially when all you want to do is blame yourself. Most of all, stay strong, positive & don’t give up on your family dreams... miracles really do happen 🙏🏼✨ . . . #sixmonthspregnant #novemberbaby #oursurrogacyjourney #miscarriageawareness #oneinsix

A post shared by Rosanna Davison MSc (@rosanna_davison) on

“As our families & close friends know, this has been a long & very tough journey for us, sadly with multiple miscarriages along the way. We’ve dreamed of being parents for many years & I would have loved to carry my own baby, but for reasons unknown (most likely embryo rejection due to an overactive immune system) & although tests show excellent fertility, I’ve been unable to sustain any of my pregnancies, despite the best efforts of reproductive immunology experts & a lot of immune-suppressant medication, injections, intravenous infusions & surgery.”

Gestational surrogacy abroad was their only viable option for a biological child, she said, and “we’re so thankful for the wonders of modern medicine & reproductive science” and “incredibly grateful to the team of doctors, embryologists, nurses, pregnancy coordinators, my GP & everyone involved in giving us the greatest gift of all by making our family dream come true, and of course our amazing surrogate for keeping our little daughter healthy and safe... We already love her so much & can’t wait to finally hold her!”

New parents: Wes Quirke and Rosanna Davison. Photograph: Phillip Massey/Getty
New parents: Wes Quirke and Rosanna Davison. Photograph: Phillip Massey/Getty

Surrogacy in Ireland is in legislative limbo, being neither legal nor illegal. No laws govern surrogacy, despite years of debate about the legal and moral issues it raises. International adoption is increasingly difficult, and, despite the legal uncertainty, many Irish couples have gone abroad to have a baby with a surrogate mother, in countries including the United States, Canada, Greece, Cyprus, Ukraine, Georgia and, until recent years, India.

Davison wrote that she knew “too well that pregnancy loss & fertility struggles can be a profoundly lonely, frightening, devastating experience for both women & men”. One in six people in Ireland face fertility issues, she wrote, and almost 8,000 Irish couples a year have fertility treatment.

Davison, whose father is the singer-songwriter Chris de Burgh, sent love and support to others struggling with infertility, saying “I’ve found that talking about it openly with trusted family & friends is deeply healing & greatly helps to reduce the stigma & sense of helplessness.”

She said support and understanding were crucial to the “challenging physical & emotional recovery process, especially when all you want to do is blame yourself. Most of all, stay strong, positive & don’t give up on your family dreams... miracles really do happen.”

Because of the uncertainty and lack of Irish laws, having a baby by surrogacy has legal, financial, moral and emotional challenges. Irish couples considering it are advised to consult a family-law solicitor. Some Irish IVF clinics may offer advice but not facilitate IVF for surrogates, so even when a family member wants to be a surrogate, people have to travel abroad for IVF to conceive.