Legal issues

Is counselling available to egg sharers and egg recipients?

Counselling and emotional support are part of our service. We ask that you attend at least one counselling session to ensure that you are aware of all issues involved in egg-sharing. For more details on counselling, click here.

Can sharers and recipients from different countries egg-share in the UK?

Yes, but recipients are required to visit the UK for an initial appointment. Once a matched sharer has been found and depending on the circumstances, a stay of between three to ten days is necessary for treatment.

Who is the legal mother of any child born as a result of egg-sharing?

The recipient is the legal mother, and a consenting partner (male or female) is the other legal parent.

Is it advisable to tell any resulting children about their conception?

Recent studies suggest that it is advisable that children be told about their sharer conception when they are young rather than later in life.

Is access to identifying genetic information legally available to children of egg recipients?

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) allows sharer-conceived individuals upon reaching age 18 to access information about their sharer for medical, social and emotional reasons. This will be discussed at your initial consultation.

Can I withdraw my consent to share eggs mid-cycle?

Yes, HFEA guidelines permit sharers to withdraw consent for sharing at any time up until the embryos are about to be used. However, if consent is withdrawn, we are required to charge the full cost of the treatment cycle or abandon the treatment cycle for a cancellation fee. Fertility treatment is costly - emotionally and financially - for sharer and recipient, so we ask that you consider the implications fully before deciding to become a sharer.

If treatment is abandoned because of inadequate response to ovarian stimulation, you do not have to pay anything and are referred for a free counselling session.

Do I have any legal responsibilities towards a child born to an unknown recipient of my shared eggs?

Egg sharers have no responsibilities for any children born to an anonymous recipient following treatment at a licensed clinic. The LWC is licensed by the HFEA.