Legislation on donor IVF, rushed into law for Marriage Referendum, had ‘technical errors’

Legislation to enable the use of donor sperm, eggs and embryos, that was rushed into law prior to the Marriage referendum in 2015, will be corrected by another piece of legislation that is set to come before the Dail soon.

Provisions for the creation of a register to allow donor-conceived children obtain personal family information once they turn 18 and to ban anonymous gamete donation was contained in 2015 Children and Family Relationships Act. But the minister at the time did not commence enactment of parts two and three of the legislation which would have brought the measures into force immediately. “During the preparation of regulations to facilitate the commencement of parts two and three of the Act, a number of technical drafting issues came to light that required amendments to the Act of 2015 through primary legislation,” a Department of Health spokesman said. Mr Harris received Government approval last week to draft an amendment to the Bill to remedy the defect. The Minister “hopes to be in a position to introduce this legislation into the Dáil as soon as possible and commence parts two and three of the Children and Family Relationships Act in the autumn”. The department was responding to the announcement last week by international clinic Institut Marquès that it was offering women undergoing IVF in Ireland the use of anonymously donated eggs without having to travel abroad. This new bill would aim to prohibit such a practice.