14/12/2006

Fathers scrapped in IVF protocols

The government is to remove the requirement for a father when fertility clinics are deciding on IVF.

This opens the way for lesbian couples and single mothers to be deemed parents under the legislation, effectively removing the requirement for a "father figure".

Launching the White Paper, Caroline Flint said: "The UK is a world leader in reproductive technology and a pioneer in the way it is regulated. But the current law, which has served us well, is in need of revision. Technology has changed and so have attitudes. There are new ways of creating embryos not envisaged when the current Act was drawn up; while new techniques to select the sex of a child and ever-increasing possibilities to screen embryos for diseases are presenting new challenges and dilemmas.

"Many of these issues have profound ethical, legal and social implications, which is why it has been important to seek a wide range of views on all of the proposals. I believe that the proposed changes we are publishing today will ensure that legitimate medical and scientific uses of human reproductive technologies continue to flourish, while giving the public confidence in how they are being used and developed."

IVF clinics will still have to consider the welfare of the infant.

(SP/EF)

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