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Embryo donor loophole needs tighter regulation

IVF ART And Donor Children

Yesterday, the Sydney Morning Herald provided an update on the upsetting case of Natalie Parker which involves embryo donor regulation.

The story first came to light in April 2016.

In summary, having successfully had two sons of their own, the Parkers donated one of their stored embryos to a Sydney woman in late 2014. They did so on the agreed basis that ongoing contact with any children born out of the arrangement would be open and maintained because they would be genetic siblings to the Parker’s two sons.

Ms Parker and IVF Australia understood that the implantation had failed. However, Ms Parker subsequently saw pictures on Facebook of the recipient with a baby of an age which correlated to the date of embryo transfer. Ms Parker believes the embryo transfer may in fact have been successful but the recipient didn’t want to honour the arrangement to maintain contact with the Parkers – the baby’s biological family.

We have previously blogged about the lack of scrutiny in the ART industry. Sadly, this is yet another story which exposes the lack of regulation in this area. Part of the problem is that laws were made before ART was even contemplated and there haven’t been sufficient developments to keep up with the changes – part of the problem lies with the industry largely operating behind closed doors.

Although there is no clear path for investigation, according to the SMH steps are being taken. Our view is that tighter regulation of the industry as a whole, would help to avoid these circumstances in the first place and protect donors like the Parkers as well as ensure greater protection for donor children.

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