Fears for father's role in fertility review
from The Church of England Newspaper
Date: Aug 19 2005
Christian charities have expressed fears that the role of the father is likely to be downplayed in controversial new laws making it easier for single women and lesbians to undergo fertility treatment. After an announcement this week that the government will review the current fertility laws, leading social concern charity CARE said parliament risked legislating “in the name of cheap and cheerful 'equality'.”
The Department of Health's consultation paper follows last year's report from the House of Commons Science and Technology committee. The report criticised the part of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act, which requires account to be taken of the welfare of the child, specifically the need for a father, before IVF treatment is needed. Now, the government will seek to update the Act, which dates from 1990. Currently IVF clinics are required to consider the child's need for a father and they have the option to refuse single women and lesbians for treatment. However, the report has branded the rule “offensive” to unconventional families, with officials fearing that it could be discriminatory.