Judge condemns “widespread incompetence” in IVF sector

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 14 September 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h4924
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1The BMJ

The most senior family judge in England and Wales has lambasted infertility clinics and their regulator for “alarming and shocking” failures that have left dozens of couples who had a child through donor sperm insemination in doubt about whether the child legally belonged to both of them.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 and clinic licensing conditions require both partners to be given information, to be offered counselling, and to sign consent forms before beginning treatment for both to become the child’s legal parents.

But 51 of 109 clinics licensed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) have “anomalies” in their records, said James Munby, president of the High Court’s family division. These included forms not signed, not fully completed, filled in by …

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