Children and Family’s Relationship Act 2015
The Child and Family Relationship Act was passed in 2015 was enacted on the 5th May 2020. This is going to have implications for our patients using donor gametes (eggs and sperm) and donor conceived embryos going forward.
This legislation will bring many positive changes to the use of donor gametes in Ireland, and to parents who have struggled up to now to have both their names listed on their child’s birth certificate. We are hugely supportive of these changes, and know how much it will mean to so many of our patients.
We are conscious however, that the proposed timeline for introducing this legislation will cause some unintended, but very serious, negative consequences for many of our patients. These include financial loss, delays to treatment, and restrictions on the use of donor gametes you have already purchased. Please read on to see if you will be affected.
- Patients using donor eggs or sperm procured after the enactment date will have to be compliant with the new legislation in terms of the donor being identifiable.
- Our (recipient) patients details will have to be given to the department of health to be held on the national register, irrespective of whether the donor gametes or embryos were created before the date of enactment or whether the gametes or embryos were anonymously or non-anonymously procured
- These recipient details will not be retained by the department of health if the IUI procedure or embryo transfer does not result in a pregnancy. They will be held and added to if a child is born from the procedure
- This is a link to the legislation that we have to adhere to is here
- You will be required to sign an additional consent when undergoing an IUI or having a transfer after the enactment of the legislation.
For patients who have purchased anonymous donor sperm;
If you have already had a child with this donor, then you will have three years (until May 4th 2023) to use any straws that are already in Ireland. If they are not in Ireland at the time of commencement we will not be able to order them for you. If you have straws reserved with your sperm bank please contact us to arrange shipment as soon as possible.
If you have purchased anonymous donor sperm but have not had a child you will not be able to use this donor once the legislation commences.
No time restrictions have been placed on the use of embryos already created, so if you do have any embryos in storage with us, they will be available for you if you wish to use them.
For patients who have purchased identifiable donor sperm;
All donors must now complete a specific consent form to give permission for their details to be recorded on the Irish donor registry being created by the Department of Health. The consent forms were only made available by the Department of Health towards the end of January 2020. They were immediately given to the sperm banks and they are working to have as many donors as possible consented before the 4th May. However, it is unlikely that all donors will be consented and compliant with Irish law give the timeframe. If your donor is consented, then there will be no issues and you can proceed with treatment as planned.
If your donor is not consented, then he will be treated in the same way as an anonymous donor and the following applies:
If you have already had a child with this donor, you will have three years (until May 4th 2023) to use any straws that are already in Ireland. If the straws are not in Ireland at the time of commencement we will not be able to order them for you unless the donor is consented at a later date. If you have straws reserved with your sperm bank please contact us to arrange shipment as soon as possible.
If you have purchased identifiable donor sperm but have not had a child you will not be able to use this donor once the legislation commences until such a time that the donor signs the consent form to go on the Irish registry.
No time restrictions have been placed on the use of embryos already created, so if you do have any embryos in storage with us, they will be available for you if you wish to use them, so please don’t be concerned.
Egg Donation Patients
Our anonymous oocyte donation programme is no longer available, but our identifiable egg donation programme is still an option for all patients. The oocyte donors have consented to being placed on a national register, and have begun signing the new consent forms as soon as they were made available to us.
For patients hoping to begin treatment
All donors suitable for treatment at Sims will now be identifiable. We are working closely with the sperm banks to obtain a list of Irish compliant donors and will share that with individual patients as soon as it is available. There will be a reduced selection of donors and potential delays finding a suitable sperm donor who has signed the correct consent forms.
From May 5th, it will become a legal requirement for clinics to report all treatments using donor sperm, egg or embryos and their outcomes to the Department of Health. A record of these donor assisted treatments and their outcomes will be held on a registry by the Department of Health and in line with many other countries, will become a source of information for donor conceived children once they reach adulthood. In addition, patients will be required to sign a new document at every treatment called S.I. 545: Consent to parentage declaration.
If you believe your treatment may be affected please contact us and we will do our best to help you.