In Vitro Fertilisation

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 22nd September 2020.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Baroness Royall of Blaisdon on 4 February 2008 (HL Deb, col 904), what conclusions were reached by the review of practices in informing donor-conceived children of the fact of their donor conception; what changes in the law were consequently made to ensure that donor-conceived children are informed of their donor conception; and how has this been further implemented by subsequent administrations.

Photo of Lord Bethell Lord Bethell The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Nuffield Council on Bioethics undertook a comprehensive review of donor conception. Donor conception: ethical aspects of information sharing was published on 17 April 2013 and a copy is attached.

One of the report’s key recommendations was that “The state does not, and should not, have a role in informing donor-conceived people of the circumstances of their conception, for example through entries on birth certificates.”

In the light of this review and the report’s clear recommendation, the Government took the view that no further legislative action was appropriate in this area. The Government encourages the parents of donor conceived children to be open with them about their genetic heritage. This has remained Government policy through successive administrations.

Nuffield Council review of donor conception (pdf, 2505.1KB)

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