Natalie Gamble Associates

Embryos, sperm and eggs law

ladybirdWelcome to our area about fertility treatment (eggs, sperm and embryos) - free information and resources from the UK's leading fertility lawyers.

Fertility treatment law guidance

Want to know more about the law on fertility treatment in the UK?

Read our pages on the HFEA's role, the consent rules for embryos, and for eggs and sperm, the storage rules and the rules on embryo testing.

Want to know more about posthumous conception? 

Read our pages on posthumous conception (conceiving with the eggs or sperm of someone who has died).

Resources and information

Resources: Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 (as amended)

This is the law which created the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and which sets out the regulatory framework which they have to apply.

Resources: HFEA Code of Practice

The HFEA Code of Practice sets out the rules which fertility clinics in the UK must comply with.

Resources: Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Statutory Storage Period for Embryos and Gametes) Regulations 2009

These regulations set out the circumstances in which fertility patients can extend the storage of their gametes or embryos beyond ten years.

UK court decisionWarren v CARE (2013)

In 2014, widow Beth Warren won a legal case against the HFEA relating to storage periods.  Her husband had stored his sperm before cancer treatment and consented to her using it after his death.  The HFEA said that Beth could only continue his sperm (after his death) for ten years after his initial consent.  Upholding Beth's case, the court said that the HFEA should deem his consent to have been extended when he last renewed his annual storage fee.

NGA publication: Morally straightforward but legally complex: change to the embryo storage rules

Natalie's article, published in Bionews in September 2009, looks at the government's last minute decision in September 2009 to change the rules on extended storage to allow embryos being stored for surrogacy to be subject to the same rules as other embryos.  This was a change to the law we campaigned for successfully.

NGA publication: Embryo testing and PGD

Natalie's article, written for fertility patients and published in the Infertility Network UK magazine in summer 2009, explains how UK law governs embryo testing.

NGA publication: The brave new world of fertility law

Natalie's article, published in the Infertility Network UK magazine in spring 2008, explains the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill 2008 and its proposed changes to the law, covering same sex parents, welfare of the child, donor information rights and embryo storage.