Reproductive Laws in United Kingdom

  • givfadmin
  • June 13, 2013 9:46 pm


A maximum of one to two embryos can be transferred in women under 40 with an absolute maximum of three embryos. Reports are that the UK will soon move to single embryo system. Embryo freezing and embryo screening for inherited diseases are permitted. Sex selection is illegal. Reports are that clinics will treat single women and will soon allow treatment for married female couples. Treatment available on NHS but usually only one cycle, Clinics must be licensed by the HFEA.

Egg/Sperm Donation

Egg and sperm donation are permitted but there is a long waiting list for donors since there is no anonymity and payment is minimal. At the age 18 the offspring of a sperm donation can receive information on their donor. Sperm donors are limited to births in 10 families, however there is no limit to the number of donations within those families. Exported sperm is held to the same restrictions at time of export but is not followed up with after. Sperm shortage has led to less exportation and possibility of relaxing 10 family restriction rules. Some clinics also arrange an ?¢‚Ǩ?ìexchange?¢‚Ǩ¬ù with foreign clinics to provide a wider pool of donors. Egg sharing is permissible ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú this is where a woman undergoes IVF treatment and gives some of her eggs to another woman receiving treatment in return for a reduction in her fees.


Surrogacy is not illegal and both gestational and traditional carriers can be used. However, it is illegal to advertise and any private surrogacy arrangements cannot involve compensation beyond the costs incurred due to the pregnancy. The laws do not recognize the contractual rights in the surrogacy arrangement, and therefore breaches in the contract cannot be upheld. Surrogates can change their mind at anytime. There is also no guarantee the surrogate?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s name will be removed from the birth certificate. The earliest Intended Parents can petition the courts to have their names on the birth certificate is 6 weeks post birth and the surrogate can change her mind during this time and object to her maternal rights being terminated.

Disclaimer: Reproductive laws are a relatively new legal area and are in constant flux throughout the world. It is often hard to obtain current and accurate information, and we are always updating information on our site. Anyone pursuing reproductive assistance abroad should contact lawyers and clinics directly to confirm the current status in that country and any legal restrictions that might apply. GlobalIVF does not claim any accuracy for the information printed below and cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies. If you have additional or conflicting information please contact us and we will update our site.

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