The Daily Telegraph
Donor children ‘should be told of real parents’ while under 18
CHILDREN born via sperm or egg donation may not need to wait until their reach adulthood to find out information about their biological parents under proposed changes to the law.
Currently, donor-conceived children cannot obtain information about their biological parents until they are 18.
But the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) said that the law should be updated so this information can be made available after the birth of a child, should the donor choose.
Parents would need to decide at the point of treatment whether they would like to choose a donor who is identifiable before or after their future child turns 18.
It is part of a raft of proposed changes to the law that governs fertility treatments.
The HFEA also wants more power to regulate “add on” treatments – the optional extras offered by some clinics that can cost patients thousands of pounds.
Some fertility clinics point patients to sister companies that offer health, wellness and dietary advice.
The HFEA has proposed it should have more power to regulate these extra treatments.
Last year, the Competition and Markets Authority warned that fertility clinics were failing to provide information about the evidence for, or risks associated with, treatment add-ons.
It said the add-ons could cost up to £2,500 per cycle. Experts have suggested that the law that governs fertility treatments in the UK, which is 30 years old, is outdated.
Each year about 60,000 patients use fertility services in the UK and in England about 60 per cent of patients will pay for their own treatment
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “We recognise parts of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act are in need of modernisation.
“As a first step, we have asked the HFEA to undertake a stakeholder consultation about the priorities for reform, which we look forward to reviewing once complete.”
The HFEA consultation opens today and will run for six weeks on the regulator’s website.
It will submit its recommendations for law changes to the Department for Health and Social Care by the end of the year.
‘We recognise parts of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act are in need of modernisation’