in vitro fertilisation (ivf)

IVF Laws Around the World

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Every country has made legal laws on IVF treatment to safeguard the interests of doctors, child, parents and donors. Some of the common laws, which are practiced worldwide, include legal practices maintaining the anonymity of donors, preservation of embryos, sex selection, insurance coverage, sperm donation after death and the protection of child rights.

Looking at Fertility Laws Around the World:

  1. Anonymity of Donors
  2. Pre Implantation Sex Determination
  3. Duration of Preservation of Embryos
  4. Sperm donation after death
  5. Embryo Transfer Stage
  6. Insurance coverage
  7. Protection of the child rights

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) or test tube baby is one of the most commonly utilized ART (Assisted Reproductive) techniques in the recent times due to increasing infertility levels both in men and women around the world. IVF is a procedure of combining female eggs and male sperms in the lab to form an embryo. Embryo thus formed is transferred into the uterus of the female partner. Successful IVF results in the conception of a baby. This treatment is very common and it’s happening almost in every corner of the world. But you must know that legal laws specific to a country regulate IVF treatment. These laws have been made to protect the interests of doctors, donors, child and parents. It is essential that you understand the laws associated with the medical procedures to avoid any legal implications in the future.

Here are some of the laws, which are implemented all around the world to ensure that the process of IVF occurs in a peaceful way for both intended parents as well as clinics. Some of these laws are practiced only in a specific country and maybe not in other countries. Always check whether the law is applicable in your country or not.

1. Anonymity of Donors

One of the prime laws in the field of In Vitro Fertilization technique is that it requires maintaining the anonymity of the sperm or egg donor to a certain extent. If intended parents are interested in knowing the details about the sperm or egg donor, then they need to follow a set of steps, which are usually the legal formalities.

Every country has its own set of rules and you need to follow them with proper care. These rules define who can access the donors’ database whenever required. For instance,

  • Portugal has a national level database of donors, which is available publicly.
  • In countries like Spain, information regarding the donors can be given only when the child is suffering from a life threatening disorder.
  •  In Hong Kong, the information regarding the sperm donor has various levels of anonymity depending on the type of case. But for the egg donors, the information needs to be transparent.
  • In India, the identity of egg donor or sperm donor is kept confidential. But the child can seek the information of donor when he/she becomes adult.

anonymity of donors

2. Pre Implantation Sex Determination

Sex selection of the child born with the help of IVF is a contradictory topic. You need to know that there are only a few countries, which allow the sex selection during IVF procedure. Sex determination before embryo implantation is a process of determining the gender of to be baby.

  • The countries, which allow sex determination during IVF, include Hong Kong, Greece, Russia, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Czech Republic, Libya and United States. If you want to choose a particular gender for your child, then these countries will allow you to do so. You can get this done due to various reasons like social issues and prevention of sex linked disorders. There are many individuals who want a proper balance in the family and this could also be a reason for the sex selection. The occurrence of genetic disorders is a big reason for choosing the gender of a child.
  • But in countries like India, pre implantation gender selection is strictly prohibited and it’s against the laws.

3. Duration of Preservation of Embryos

Do you know that there are specific regulations related to the preservation of embryos? The embryos are now preserved successfully and the governments of various countries have made it a legal step. It is permissible to preserve embryos in the frozen form for a period of 5 years. This is only for the disease free or healthy individuals.

In case, you have acquired some kind of disorders like cancer then you can get an extended time period depending on the condition of your case. One of the best reasons of utilizing embryo freezing is that you will find it much easier in the successful completion of In Vitro Fertilization procedure. It is essential that the consent of two partners is available for the preservation as well as disposing of the embryos.

4. Sperm donation after death

This is one of the most controversial laws present in the niche of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). Sperm donation from a man needs his permission before the commencement of the procedure. Only the court provides the final permission. There are a series of legal steps, which needs to be followed for the successful donation of the sperms for a particular case.

Now, the question arises is it possible to use sperms after the death of a man. This depends on the laws of the respective state, doctor’s opinion as well as court’s decision.

  • Countries like Israel, France, Germany, Canada and Sweden prohibit the usage of sperms the person’s death.
  • In some of the states of USA, usage of sperms after death is allowed.

5. Embryo Transfer Stage

It is essential to know that nowadays there are different regulations associated with the timing of the development of embryos prior to the starting of implantation inside the uterus during In-vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure. When the embryos reach at a certain stage, then only it’s transferred to the uterus. By this way, it is ensured that only the healthiest embryos are picked for the process. The best part of this law is that you can find the quality embryos for the process of IVF.

  • Most of the countries have permitted the use of mature embryos for experimental purpose, to improve IVF success or if it is a demand of a particular case.
  • But two countries namely Denmark and Senegal do not allow the usage of mature embryo transfer. It must be early embryo transfer only.

embryo transfer stage

6. Insurance coverage

Insurance is one of the assets, which help the individuals financially while undergoing any medical treatment. Various countries offer a segment of rules, which are required to be followed in order to get insurance coverage for IVF. There are certain conditions, which need to be fulfilled if you want to avail the insurance amount for the respective medical procedure.

  • In the countries like UK and US, you are able to fund your treatment procedures with the help of insurance coverage.
  • In countries like Israel, the rules are comparatively stricter. It allows funding of the first two live births. Also, one needs to prove that there is a presence of the medical issue for timely assistance from the insurance company.
  • In India, there is hardly any company, which provides insurance for fertility treatments.

7. Protection of the child rights

This is an important aspect, which revolves around the safety and security of the child born through in vitro fertilization procedure. Welfare organizations are now built in different countries to ensure that various problems and issues related to the children born with the help of IVF procedure are solved in a proper manner. Some of the countries, which have these organizations up, and working are China, Finland, Italy, Hong Kong, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden as well as Australia. This helps in providing justice in case of any kind of family dispute or surrogate mother issues arise.

Thus, there are a set of customized rules and regulations, which every country follows when it comes to IVF treatment. Legal rules help in settling the major issues in a systematic and peaceful manner, which proves to be a boon for both, child as well as parents.

If you want to have an expert legal opinion on your fertility treatment, then Ela Legal Assistance is always ready to help you. Just give a quick call at +917899912611.

Dr. Srilatha Gorthi

About The Author

Laparoscopic Surgeon, Gynecologic Surgeon Dr. Srilatha Gorthi
Hyderabad

Dr. Srilatha Gorthi is an infertility specialist and laparoscopy surgeon located in Hyderabad. Her area of expertise lies in the field of Gynae diseases and conditions, and Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). She provides a number of services that comprise of In vitro Fertilization (IVF), Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), ICSI, TESA, MESA, Gynae Hysteroscopy, Laparoscopy, treatment of Ovarian Cysts, Endometriosis, PCOS, Fibroids, Polyps and so on. Dr. Srilatha Gorthi practices at The Birthplace Hospital, Revive Multi Specialty Clinics and Fertility Centre, and The Birthplace Clinic and has a rich experience of more than 18 years. Dr. Gorthi has won 9 Gold Medals in MBBS.She is a reputed member of the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI), European society of Gynaecological Endoscopy and British Medical Association, UK, and British Fertility Society. You can get her information at www.elawoman.com

6 Comments

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Abhay Chandal

The information provided is very helpful. One should go thoroughly with all the details before going for any kind of treatment.

Nov. 4, 2018, 8:05 a.m. 4.5

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Kalpana Chadha

I didn't know about the duration of preservation of embryos. I got very valuable information after going through this article. I also learnt that the anonymity of the donors is also very important.

Oct. 11, 2018, 1:55 p.m. 4.5

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Mohan Chawla

I have consulted many healthcare facilitators but Elawoman is by far the best when it comes to providing the best services.

Oct. 5, 2018, 3:30 p.m. 5.0

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Raman Dutta

My wife gave birth to a baby boy with the help of IVF. We went in detail about all the laws. I would suggest everyone know these laws because you should clarify everything so that there would not be any issues post the birth of the baby.

Aug. 16, 2018, 11:01 a.m. 4.5

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Sachetan Smitha

Aug. 6, 2018, 7:20 p.m. 4.5

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Kajal Malhotra

I never knew that there are any laws like protection of child rights born through IVF. My friend is going through IVF treatment, I would suggest her to go in detail about these laws.

Aug. 1, 2018, 11:53 p.m. 5.0

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