Poland to Become Last Country in EU to Legislate IVF

In an area where ambiguity is dangerous, Poland has finally decided to legislate IVF practices despite the procedures being available for the last 25 years. There is no clarity as to why this change is happening now, although there has been recent news of a woman who was wrongly implanted with the embryo fertilized by her husband but with another woman’s egg. Despite this case, it is a good sign for the citizens of Poland that legislation is in the works.

According to the BioNews,

‘The current lack of a legal framework for IVF is morally ambiguous and, from a medical standpoint, potentially dangerous,’ said Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz.

Drafted by ruling centre-right party, Civic Platform, the Bill has been seen by some as a move to attract voters ahead of a general election later in 2015. The majority of Poles are reportedly in favour of IVF for married couples, but Reuters indicates that Ms Kopacz may have to look outside her party for support on passing the new laws as a threat from more conservatives backbenchers could overrule it.

If the legislation passes, it would allow married and cohabiting couples access to the procedure after 12 months of trying to conceive. The age limit is likely to be capped at 35 for women. And, as it stands, spare embryos left unused for 20 years may not be destroyed.

Links: http://www.thenews.pl/1/9/Artykul/195727,IVF-mother-gives-birth-to-another-womans-child-in-mixup

http://www.bionews.org.uk/page.asp?obj_id=506554&PPID=507013&sid=580

Keywords: IVF, IVF legislation, Poland IVF, children via IVF, surrogacy, surrogate, embryo mix-up, IVF mistake, IVF law, spare embryos

Single Man in UK Uses Own Mother as Surrogate – Court Approves Adoption

A single man in the UK has won High Court approval of his surrogacy arrangement with his own mother, who effectively carried her own grandchild. Certainly, in this case, if the woman who carried you were good enough to carry you, then why would she not be for your own child?

According to the Daily Mail,

In a procedure believed to be a world first, a fertility clinic arranged the woman’s pregnancy using a donor egg and her son’s sperm.

She offered to have the baby – with her husband’s consent – after plans by their son to have an IVF child with another female relative collapsed.

The extraordinary arrangement emerged when a High Court judge ruled that the son can now adopt the baby boy and become his legal father – even though in the eyes of the law he is also the infant’s brother.

However, the move was met with howls of protest by critics, who described the procedure as ‘dubious’ and called for urgent reforms to prevent abuses of fertility law.

What are your thoughts on this arrangement? Is it a perfect solution? Or, is it an abuse of fertility law as some are saying?

The Justice added the following,

Mrs Justice Theis, who did not identify the family, the clinic or the local authority in the area where they live, said: ‘The arrangement the parties entered into is not one, as far as I am aware, that either this court or the clinic have previously encountered and although highly unusual is entirely lawful under the relevant statutory provisions.’…

The baby, now seven months old, was born at full term and now lives with his father. However the judge warned others not to embark on surrogacy deals without ‘comprehensive legal advice’ because the process is a ‘legal minefield’.

Mrs Justice Theis said that under the 2008 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act, which governs surrogacy arrangements, the woman who carried the child is the legal mother. Her husband is the legal father because he consented to the pregnancy.

Rules stipulate that a surrogate mother must hand over a child to two parents – usually a couple ‘in an enduring family relationship’. Under the law, it would be a crime to hand over the baby to the biological father alone.

But the judge argued that the adoption would not break laws because the baby and its father are legally related already as brothers. Social workers backed the adoption, saying it would ‘strengthen the bond’ the father and child already share’.

Links: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2978232/Woman-gives-birth-son-s-IVF-baby-wins-right-adopt-child-brother.html

Keywords: surrogacy, surrogate, UK surrogacy, adoption, surrogate mother, gestational surrogacy, child via surrogacy

Baby Gammy Case Forces Thailand to Outlaw Commercial Surrogacy for Foreigners

Baby Gammy has been a topic on this blog for some time, and now the fallout from this case and several others has created a new law in Thailand. Thailand’s military-picked legislature passed a law that effectively criminalizes commercial surrogacy and prohibits foreigners from seeking surrogacy services.

According to the Associated Press,

The law, which prohibits the act of hiring women commercially to carry fetuses to term, aims to stop Thailand from being a surrogacy hub for foreign couples, or from becoming "the wombs of the world," National Legislative Assembly member Wanlop Tangkananurak told The Associated Press on Friday.

"Surrogacy business leaves too much long-term trouble for Thailand, so we are banning foreign couples from seeking surrogacy in our country to avoid being a hub and to prevent what we saw last year," Wanlop said.

The parliament voted 160 to 2 to pass the law Thursday night.

Baby Gammy and the case involving a Japanese man who fathered at least 16 babies via Thai surrogates has caused this knee jerk reaction in a country that has long been seen as a favorable climate for surrogacy. Under the new law, a Thai couple is allowed to seek a surrogate to carry the fetus only if they are able to prove that they are infertile. A couple with one Thai spouse seeking surrogacy must be married for at least three years.

It also says that anyone involved in commercial surrogacy will face a maximum jail term of 10 years and a maximum fine of 200,000 baht ($6,100).

Links: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-31546717 & http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/thailand-bans-commercial-surrogacy-foreigners-thais-29095170

Keywords: surrogacy, surrogate, commercial surrogacy, Thailand surrogacy, Thai surrogacy, Baby Gammy, surrogate mother, gestational surrogacy, child via surrogacy