The Maltese government is in the process of reviewing legislation regulating in-vitro fertilisation. The new law should allow freezing of embryos “provided that future parents agree to donate unused embryos for adoption”. They will be granted a “permit” that can be renewed every five years up until the woman is 43 years old. If they decide not to extend the permit or if the woman has reached the age limit, “the Embryo Protection Authority will be able to give the embryos up for adoption”.
For parents who do not agree to this adoption clause, the law will remain unchanged—they will only be allowed to fertilise two eggs which must then be transferred immediately to the uterus. The purpose of this strategy is “to allay fears that frozen embryos will pile up at fertility clinics”. Under current legislation, only unfertilised eggs can be frozen. However, there are a few exceptions to the rule, e.g. if the mother suffers an accident between fertilisation and implantation.
Last week, an online parliamentary petition against embryo freezing called for MPs not to amend the existing IVF law. Over 1,016 signatures had been received by Tuesday evening.
Malta Today, Kurt Sansone (11/04/2018)