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Guidelines on assisted reproductive procedures

23 November 2007

Media Release

ACART issues guidelines on assisted reproductive procedures

The independent Advisory Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technology (ACART) yesterday issued new guidelines to regulate surrogacy arrangements and donations of sperm or eggs between certain family members.

Prof Sylvia Rumball, chair of ACART, said the guidelines will be used by the Ethics Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technology (ECART) to conduct an ethical review of applications for the use of these procedures. These new guidelines replace interim guidelines that had been in use since 1997 and 2005.

“These new guidelines give ECART more flexibility to take into account the individual circumstances of the parties involved when deciding on an individual application,” she explained.

ACART advises the Minister of Health on issues relating to assisted reproductive procedures and human reproductive research. It is also responsible for providing advice and guidelines to ECART.

ECART's role is to review, on a case by case basis, applications to carry out human reproductive research and assisted reproductive procedures.

The guidelines require that in applications for a surrogacy arrangement involving a provider of fertility services, at least one of the intending parents must be a genetic parent of any resulting child.

The intending mother also must have a medical condition that prevents pregnancy or makes pregnancy potentially damaging to her or any resulting child.

Whereas the previous guidelines require all parties to be permanent residents of New Zealand, “the new guidelines require ECART to take into account whether the residency of the parties safeguards the well-being of all parties and especially any resulting child,”Prof Rumball noted.

ECART must also ensure that parties to a surrogacy arrangement have received counseling, and independent medical and legal advice.

Prof Rumball said the guidelines for the donation of sperm or eggs between certain family members prohibit donation where the resulting child would be formed by sperm and eggs from father and daughter, mother and son, brother and sister, grandfather and granddaughter, and grandmother and grandson.

For other donations, ECART must determine that the recipient of a gamete donation or the recipient’s partner has a medical condition affecting his or her reproductive ability or a medical diagnosis of unexplained infertility.

To read the guidelines, click on the link below:


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