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IVF Decisions Could Have Long Term Legal Implications

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Babies created by three parents could open to the door to a whole host of complex legal issues, Specialist Childcare solicitor, Stacy Fox, said this week.

The UK leads the way in this law as in an historic move this week MPs voted in favour of the creation of babies with DNA from two women and one man.

As Stacy said: “In recent years we’ve seen more and more progress in the field of medicine.  This leads to a multitude of legal issues, and Acts such as the Gender Recognition Act and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act have developed from this. 

“Added to that is the significant change in the legal rights of homosexual couples.  It is no longer a simple case of two parents, namely mum and dad.   There already can be three parties involved in the conception of a child and this decision creates further need to ensure proper regulations are in place.   Who has parental responsibility for the child?  Can the third party who created the child be liable for that child, emotionally, practically or financially?

“It is a really interesting area of law and as we see more and more progress it is extremely important that family lawyers are up-to-date with these changes to ensure specific advice can be provided to clients.”

A further vote is required in the House of Lords. It everything goes ahead then the first such baby could be born next year.

Ethical concerns have been raised by critics, whilst supporters claim replacing defective mitochondria passed down from the mother can help fight brain damage, muscle wasting, heart failure and blindness.

The technique uses a modified version of IVF to combine the DNA of the two parents with the healthy mitochondria of a donor woman resulting in babies with 0.1% of their DNA from the second woman and is a permanent change that would be passed down through the generations.

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

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