Human Fertilization and Embryology Act 1990

Human Fertilization and Embryology Act 1990
an Act of Parliament that makes provisions for human embryos and children produced as a result of artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, or any other method of assisted conception. The increasing use of such methods means that it is no longer possible to define legal parentage solely on a genetic basis. Under the Act, a person must give written informed consent before tissue is removed for use in assisted conception. The legal mother is defined as the woman who has given birth to the child, regardless of genetic parentage, unless the child is subsequently adopted or (in the case of children born to surrogate mothers) a section 30 order is made. The legal father is generally the genetic father except when the latter is a licensed sperm donor or when the donor's sperm is used after his death. When a wife conceives as a result of assisted conception, her spouse may be regarded as the child's legal father, even if he is not the genetic father, as long as he consented to her treatment.
The Act also established a Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, which controls and reviews research involving the use of embryos and issues licences for this research and for treatment in assisted conception. It also maintains a register of persons whose gametes are used for assisted conception and of children born as a result.

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