Egg Donation in the UK, Belgium and Spain

12 February 2020

Louisa Ghevaert was delighted to attend the expert stakeholder meeting led by De Montfort University, Leicester, concerned with a study of egg donation in the UK, Belgium and Spain (‘EDNA’) on 11 February 2020.

There has been a rapid increase in demand for donor eggs in recent years. This has been driven by advances in egg freezing technology, growing demand by gay male couples conceiving children through egg donation with surrogacy and women with age-related infertility. Egg donation is used annually in more than 56,000 cycles of fertility treatment across Europe, representing six percent of treatment cycles.

There is, however, a lack of harmonisation of law and policy applicable to egg donation across Europe. It is an ethically and politically contentious form of reproduction. Some countries continue to prohibit egg donation, whilst others permit egg donation on an anonymous or non-anonymous basis. There are variations in funding and the amount of compensation associated with egg donation, as well as varying experiences and outcomes for egg donors.

This study is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. It explores the changing landscape and the social, political, economic and moral issues, implications and outcomes associated with egg donation in the UK, Belgium and Spain to help improve understanding and shape future egg donation policy and practice. Issues discussed included: whether egg banking increases the opportunity for commercialisation and the implications of extended carrier screening and consumer genetic testing as well as the motivations and well-being of egg donors.

Need an expert fertility lawyer or family lawyer? If you would like to discuss your situation or you require specialist fertility and family law advice and assistance please contact Louisa Ghevaert by email or by telephone +44 (0)20 7965 8399.

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