Anonymous Gamete Donation to be Banned in Ireland


The anonymous “donation” of human gametes or embryos for use in assisted reproduction is due to be banned in Ireland by the autumn. People who donate sperm, eggs or an embryo for use by infertile couples will no longer be able to remain anonymous and will have to provide personal information for a register. This will allow children conceived using donated gametes to access personal family information when they reach the age of 18.


The changes are part of the revised 2015 Children and Family Relationships Act which will come into force in the coming months. Minister for Health Simon Harris said it will provide “much-needed clarity in this area and seeks to vindicate the rights of the most vulnerable individuals in a donor-assisted human reproduction procedure, the children”.


The Irish Fertility Society, which represents IVF clinics and practitioners opposed the change, claiming that it would drive their clients abroad or into “private arrangements with men on the internet”. It is also feared by some fertility clinics that the ban will result in a reduction in the number of donors.


The Department of Health said the change is needed to vindicate the rights of donor-conceived children to access information on their genetic heritage.


Separate legislation is planned covering a wide range of fertility treatments, as well as surrogacy.

BioNews. July 16. Irish Independent. July 7.

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