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HFEA considers supporting the removal of donor anonymity laws

On Friday, the Guardian newspaper shared comments from Peter Thompson, chief executive of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), suggesting that the HFEA is considering ways gamete donor anonymity laws could be changed as a result of the widespread presence of consumer genetic testing.

If the anonymity rules are scrapped, this would be part of the expected and imminent overhaul of UK fertility laws. However, the practicalities of how the anonymity rules would be lifted are complex and the HFEA acknowledges that there are several approaches to consider. 

Some of the factors that the HFEA must take into account when looking at proposals are who the donor will be identifiable to, the timing of the identification, and the ramifications of making the identification of donors a mandatory legal requirement.

We look forward to the planned consultation and publication of proposed legislative changes to the HFE Act later this year. The Progress Educational Trust (PET) is also interested to hear views on this proposed change - your views can be submitted here.

Given the trend, I can’t see how the existing legal framework is going to cope with the way things are going,


life sciences regulatory, life sciences