HFEA looks into recommending scrapping donor anonymity

The fertility watchdog is looking into whether to recommend scrapping the anonymity afforded to sperm and egg donors as part of an overhaul of UK fertility laws

The chief executive of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority(HFEA) Peter Thompson said the rapid rise of testing websites, such as 23andMe would soon make it impossible to guarantee the anonymity of donors. He believes the law needs to be amended to keep it updated with new technology.

Rules in place since 2005 mean that people born using donor sperm, eggs, or embryo can access information about their donor when they reach 18, but donors can decide to remain anonymous until then.

He said: “We feel that the technology of cheap DNA tests throws into question the underlying assumption of anonymity.

“Given that, the responsible thing is to start a conversation about where we as a society want to go on these things. It’s a significant change.

“You can see a position in the future where anonymity becomes impossible, whatever the attitude of the families, the honest truth is that people will just find out.”

He said the HFEA had not settled on a proposal around anonymity.

He said: “Given the current trend, I cannot see how the current legal framework is going to cope with how things are going.”

What are your thoughts on changing the current laws on anonymity? We’d love to hear your opinions. Email us at mystory@ivfbabble.com.

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