UK Weighs Revolution in IVF Rules

Bill would require birth certificates to note donor involvement
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2007 6:38 AM CDT
Under a microscope, a 3-day-old, 8-cell embryo created through in vitro fertilization is held in place with a pipette while a drill makes a hole in the right wall of the embryo shell.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – Legislation pending in Britain proposes sweeping changes to fertility laws, including requiring birth certificates to note whether a baby was conceived through in vitro fertilization and an easing of restrictions on so-called "savior siblings." Parents choose to have such children in part because their blood or bone marrow could be used to treat a brother or sister's disease.

The certificate requirement is meant to allow people to determine their genetic origins even if parents don't tell them, the Guardian reports, and give them access to donor registries. Currently, would-be parents of savior siblings can select a compatible embryo if an existing child has a life-threatening illness, but the bill would permit the process to treat any "serious" disease.