Three-parent IVF : What parentage?

Publié le 13 Jan, 2017

The British decision taken on 15 December authorising three-parent IVF procedures is raising numerous questions including the parentage of the unborn children: the law does not change but society’s perception is clouded.


According to the British Law, anyone who gives birth to a child is automatically the legal mother and the man who undertakes MAP (medically assisted procreation) treatment with this woman is the legal father, regardless of whether or not the child was conceived through sperm donation. The “second legal parent” concept was subsequently introduced for same sex couples with the child having a legal father, a legal mother and a “second legal parent”. Finally, another law allows several people to have the parental responsibility of a child even if he or she is not the legal parent. Parental responsibility is not correlated to the genetic link.


Based on this reasoning, within the scope of three-parent IVF, if the egg donor does not play an on-going role in the child’s education, she cannot be considered the legal mother. This is the same situation as MAP involving egg donation.


This new technique is somewhat blurring the vision of a society that establishes a strong link between biology and the concepts of parentality even if Parliament broke this link in 1990 with the first law on human fertilisation and embryology.

Huffington Post, Lisa Webley (16/12/2016)

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