Accessibility Options Printer friendly Email us Contact us

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act comes into force, 30/09/09 [E/NI/S/W]

The 2008 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act comes into force on 1 October 2009.

Among the provsions of the 2008 Act are:

  • It bans sex selection of offspring for non-medical reasons.   Sex selection is allowed for  medical reasons only, for example to avoid a serious disease that affects only boys. 
  • It recognises same-sex couples as legal parents of children conceived through the use of donated sperm, eggs or embryos. These provisions enable, for example, the civil partner of a woman who carries a child via IVF to be recognised as the child’s legal parent.
  • It values the role of all parents by retaining a duty to take account of the welfare of the child in providing fertility treatment, but replaces the reference to “the need for a father” with “the need for supportive parenting”.  
  • It establishes a sibling contact register enabling children conceived by egg or sperm donation to trace their biological siblings once they are 18.

For full details see the Department of Health news release.

Further Information

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act comes into force