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Ethics Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technology
Advisory Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technology
Guidelines on donations of Eggs or Sperm between Certain Family Members
Date of publication: November 2007 - revised December 2010
Donation of eggs or sperm (‘gametes') to a family member can occur intragenerationally (for example, between siblings), or intergenerationally (for example, between parents and offspring).
As with other types of gamete donation, the child will be directly related to only one of its legal parents, and in some exceptional cases neither of its parents. But unlike gamete donation from an unknown donor, the child's donor will be a part of the child's wider family.
Fertility providers need to seek ethical approval from ECART for most cases of gamete donation between family members.
The HART Order has recently been amended to make clearer the circumstances where ethics approval is not required for family members.
Approval of the ethics committee (ECART) will not be required if,—
in the case of donated eggs, the donor is a sister or cousin of the patient (where both are 20 or older)
in the case of donated sperm, the donor is a brother or cousin of the patient’s spouse or partner (where both are 20 or older)
in the case of a procedure that involves the use of the patient’s partner’s eggs and donated sperm, the donor is a brother or cousin of the patient (where both are 20 or older)
The guidelines were amended December 2010 as a consequence of ACART issuing Guidelines on the Creation and Use, for Reproductive Purposes, of an Embryo created from Donated Eggs in conjunction with Donated Sperm. The Preamble of these guidelines no longer refers to the use of donated eggs in conjunction with donated sperm not being permitted.
The guidelines are available for download below in Word and PDF format:
Guidelines on donations of Eggs or Sperm between Certain Family Members (PDF, 167 KB)
Guidelines on donations of Eggs or Sperm between Certain Family Members (Word, 109 KB)
Page last updated: 13 December 2010
Minister of Health