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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear All
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill is now in the House of Commons.  It had it's second reading on 12th May and proceeds to Committee Stage on 19th and 20th May.  It is at this stage that amendments can be put down for debate and voting.
There is an amendment that proposes two possible changes to birth certificates.  The first would mark the birth certificate of a child who had been conceived by donated eggs, sperm or embryos with a symbol to indicate this fact.  The second would mean an upheaval of the whole birth certificate system so that all certificates would indicate that this was a record of the parents who had legal responsibility for a child but that information about possibly different genetic connections could be found on another certificate or register.  This second certificate would only be accessible to the parents or the child themselves on attaining age of 18.

Both these proposals are designed to make sure that parents 'tell' their children about their donor conceived beginnings.  DC Network does not support these proposals. We believe that the majority of parents and potential parents are now educating themselves about the long-term impact of donor conception and making the decision to 'tell' in the best interests of their children, and that this trend will continue as information about How to Tell becomes more widely available and donor conception is accepted as one of the many ways to found a family.

If you feel strongly about these proposals and would like to let your MP know your views and that you will be watching how they vote, email them NOW.  Most MPs have email addresses that put the surname first, followed by the initial @parliament.uk      Otherwise you can find a form on the Parliament web site.  DC Network has sent a Briefing to MPs on this matter (and others within the Bill) and you are welcome to use extracts from this if you choose.  You can find this under Latest News on www.dcnetwork.org
Best wishes
Olivia
 

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Thanks Olivia!
I have written to my MP already but will do so again today.
Please can you keep us updated on how this part of the bill progresses (i.e. when it's being debated, when it is being voted on and what the outcome is)?
Many thanks
Lizi.xx

PS. EVERYBODY, PLEASE WRITE TO YOUR MP. We can't let this happen to our children just because we didn't get off our backsides to tell our MP how we feel. The PRO lobby is very strong, we have to make our voices heard too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Lizibee
I will certainly do what I can to keep everyone informed.  Unlike the debates on 'need for a father' hybrid embryos and abortion, the debate about birth certificates will not take place on the floor of the House of Commons (where MPs had a free vote).  It will happen after the Whitsun recess in a small committee  and we don't yet know who the Committee members will be.  When we do I will post the names here, or link to the site where they are, so that FF'ers can let them know their views.  The rest of the Bill is being 'whipped', meaning that Government MPs will have to vote with their Party, but this is not a cause for complacency.  As you say, the PRO lobby is passionate about it's cause and although their numbers are small, their voice is educated and articulate and likely to be taken very seriously.
Olivia
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi
We have today learned the names of the MPs who will sit on the Commons Committee that will debate, amongst other things, the question of birth certificates for donor conceived children. Do let them know how you feel on this issue.

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [Lords] Committee:

(1) The Speaker has appointed Mr Roger Gale and Mr Jim Hood Chairmen
of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [Lords] Committee;
and

(2) the Committee of Selection has nominated seventeen Members to
serve on the Committee: Dr Ian Gibson, Patrick Hall, Dr Evan Harris,
Dr Brian Iddon, Helen Jones, Robert Key, Steve McCabe, Chris
McCafferty, Laura Moffatt, Julie Morgan, Mike Penning, Dawn
Primarolo, Dr John Pugh, Mark Simmonds, Mr Gary Streeter, Dr Desmond
Turner and Jeremy Wright.

Olivia
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi
If the Bill receives royal assent before the summer, then it would become law in early 2009.
Olivia
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
For those of you who would prefer to write letters to the Committee members, the address is
House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA

An example of an email address is [email protected]
Evan Harris, the Lib Dem Health spokesperson on the committee is likely to support either the current government position of encouraging parents to 'tell' via educational means OR the proposal to have wording on ALL birth certificates that indicates that there may be further information about genetic background on the Adoption Register or the Register of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.
This Committee will sit from 2nd June, so get writing!
Olivia
 

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Thank you Olivia I am planning to write my letter this evening and have found the briefing you mentionned, at the beginning of this thread,very useful, thank you.    ^hugme^

 

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hi olivia

would it be advisable to write to all of the delegates attending the meeting?

i have drafted a letter and have sent it to dr harris however maybe it will be more powerful if i write to everyone?

thank you for letting us know about this

come on girls, lets get writing!!!!!

Suze x
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi Suze and all
Yes, if you can manage it, it would certainly be more powerful to write to all the Committee members.
Olivia
 

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Blimey! So 19 more letters then?
Lizi.x
 

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looks like it lizi!!  ;)

i'll just forward the same email to all the commitee members

how's pregnancy going?

x
 

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Suze - just waiting 'til I split like a water melon!!
 

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Dr Evan Harris, the Lib Dem Health spokesperson, has time and time again spoken out against the government imposing their will on women/couples. 

He has spoken out that it is wrong for the government to insist on the number of embryos that can be transferred to a women.  He has even spoken in favour of allowing cloning, when the time is right.

He has time and time again spoken in favour of of women and men being treated as adults and allowed to make their own decisions.

As he is absolutely against interference by the government in women/couples reproductive decisions, I sincerely doubt he would for a mark on the birth certificate for a donor conceived child.

I would be much more concerned about someone like Mark Simmonds, who has spoken out against Dr Evan Harris or Dawn Primarolo, who is looking to make sure she is re-elected

I can’t work out which way Steve McCabe will vote.  But  I would hope on past voting records the rest would throw this idea out.

Lorna
 

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hi all.....

i have emailed all committe members....lets hope our letters / emails make a difference.

debbie x

 

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If possible could someone PM me the email addresses so I don't have to spend precious time checking them all out?
Cheers!
Lizi.x
 

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Sorry to sound dim here, I know this is  for donor conceived children conceived in UK clinics, but does it cover UK people going abroad for donor treatment?

I am considering having UK shared care/DEIVF abroad and want to know if I would be affected.  I understand people independently going abroad for all their care would not be affected as noone in the Uk would be involved but what about those using UK clinics for scans and tests and abroad for the actual transfer? 

thanks

Jane 
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Dear Jane
You ask a very interesting question.  In fact everyone going abroad would be involved if it is agreed by Parliament that a symbol or wording should appear on the birth certificate indicating that a child has been conceived by donor conception.  Parents would be expected to tell the registrar about this (no matter where the conception took place) as the aim is to make sure that parents 'tell' their children that they were conceived with the help of a donor.  If, however, it is accepted that this is not the right way forward and the birth certificate of EVERY child (including those conceived without donor assistance) is marked with a notice stating that there may be information about genetic connections held on the Adoption Register or by the HFEA, then the aim of 'forcing' parents to 'tell' will not apply to families where conception took place abroad because information will not be held on either of these registers.  What I do not know, and will check on, is if 'work-up' treatment carried out in the UK appears on the HFEA records, even if the donor conception itself took place abroad.
Just for the record, DC Network does not support any kind of marking of birth certificates.  We do, however, believe very strongly that it is in the best interests of the child (and whole family) if children are 'told' from an early age by their parents.
Best
Olivia
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I have now established with the HFEA that pre-treatment scans, tests and even drug treatment that takes place in the UK prior to gamete donation abroad is NOT captured by their statistics or records.  There would of course be a record held by the UK clinic, but this would be subject to strict confidentiality rules.
Olivia
 
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