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Parliamentary Briefing on Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill May 2008

We welcome the publication of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. In particular, we welcome the government’s ongoing commitment to greater openness around the use of donated gametes. The removal of donor anonymity in April 2005 was well received by many donor conceived people, donors, parents of donor conceived people and professionals.

Additionally, we welcome the government’s decision to retain the requirement placed on clinics to consider the welfare of the child that may be born, and any existing children, prior to offering treatment. We welcome the amendments brought forward in the Bill in the House of Lords that will require the HFEA to produce guidance in the Code of Practice about how to offer counselling when prospective parents are contemplating the use of donated gamete(s) and the information that should be provided, including the need to inform a child at an early age - and to make this a licence condition. However, there are some important gaps in the Bill that, drawing on our areas of shared interest and concern, we would wish to be addressed as a matter of urgency. Please note that these are not presented in order of priority as we consider each of the issue  presented to be of prime importance: