COUPLES who want to find out if they are going to have a baby with an inherited disorder can now avail of controversial tests in Irish clinics for the first time. Embryos produced through IVF can now be tested to show if they are free of specific disorders, such as cystic fibrosis. It means the couple can choose not to have an embryo which proves positive for the disorder implanted in the mother's womb.
Couples previously had to go abroad for the tests, but licences have been granted to the Beacon CARE Fertility Clinic in Dublin and the Cork Fertility Clinic. A spokesman for the Cork Fertilty Clinic said a couple would need around €10,000 to cover the fertility treatment and the embryo test. Later cycles would be around €1,500 less.
The Beacon service is also offering another test which screens the egg and embryo for chromosomal abnormalities, a major cause of miscarriage and IVF failure.
Cystic Fibrosis Association chief executive Philip Watt said that it recognised Irish couples were already going abroad for the screening and it had no objection to it.