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Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Statutory Storage Period for Embryos and Gametes) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020

These Regulations, which  come into force on 1 July 2020, provide for embryos and gametes to be stored in certain circumstances for longer than the period of ten years ("the statutory storage period") laid down by section 14(3) and (4) of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 ("the Act"), as amended by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008.

Part 2 extends the statutory storage period for embryos and gametes to twelve years (an additional two years). Regulation 3 extends the statutory storage period in respect of embryos and regulation 4 provides for an equivalent extension in respect of gametes. Where embryos or gametes are stored on licenced premises on 1 July 2020 and such persons, as specified in the Regulations, provide consent, the relevant embryos or gametes may be kept in storage for twelve years from the date they were first placed in storage.

Part 3 amends the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Statutory Storage Period for Embryos and Gametes) Regulations 2009 ("the 2009 Regulations"). The 2009 Regulations provide for embryos and gametes to be stored in certain circumstances for longer than the period of ten years laid down by section 14(3) and (4) of the Act, namely where, in the written opinion of a registered medical practitioner, one of the gamete providers or the person to be treated, is, or is likely to become, prematurely infertile. If the conditions in the 2009 Regulations are met, the statutory storage period may be extended for ten years from the date the registered medical practitioner provides a written opinion. Further extensions to the statutory storage period of ten years may be made if further written opinions from a registered medical practitioner are obtained within each ten-year extension.

Part 3 provides that the statutory storage period for embryos (regulation 8) and gametes (regulation 10) may be extended so that it ends twelve years after the date of the most recent written opinion in certain circumstances. Regulations 7 and 9 respectively amend regulations 3 and 4 of the 2009 Regulations. The amendments ensure that specified persons who either obtain a written opinion for the first time or who obtain a further written opinion within the extended statutory storage period provided for in these Regulations, may, thereafter arrange for the relevant embryos or gametes to be stored for an additional ten years (under regulations 3 and 4 of the 2009 Regulations).

For the 2020 Regulations, click here.

5/6/20