Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 comes into force today

Today marks an important step in English fertility law, with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 – the first major review of UK fertility law for 19 years – coming into force. Our website has been fully updated to take account of all the changes which apply from today, so you can read more about what the changes mean for fertility patients, including:

Embryo and gamete storage – the rules will from today be fairer and more straightforward. Everyone will qualify for ten years’ storage, and patients who are ‘prematurely infertile’ will be able to extend this period, with no exclusion of surrogacy patients and those storing gametes or embryos as donor recipients. More from our website on embryo storage law.

An end to discrimination for lesbian and single women – fertility clinics will no longer have to consider a prospective child’s ‘need for a father’ (they will now have to consider the child’s need for ‘supportive parenting’), making it clear that access to treatment should be available equally to different family structures. More from our website on fertility law and access to treatment.

Donor information rights – Donor conceived people will have new rights to contact genetic half siblings and will be able to access some information about their donor at a younger age. Donors will also have new rights to limited information. More from our website on donor conception law.

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis – The law is clarified as to what kinds of preimplantation embryo testing are acceptable within the framework of the law. More from our website on embryo testing law and PGD.

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