In the Czech Republic, assisted reproductive technology (ART) is governed in accordance with the provisions of the Law 227/2006. There one can find both how gamete donation works and the conditions to undergo it as stipulated by law.
The law came into force in June, 2006 and it can be described as a rather permissive law in terms of the number of fertility treatments that can be performed within the country. It does not allow, however, single women and same-sex couples to have access to fertility care.
Regulatory framework in ART
Before being allowed to start a fertility treatment, couples do have to sign an informed consent through which they express their willingness to get started with the fertility treatment together. Once begun, the husband has to provide consent before every procedure carried out throughout the cycle.
The child’s legal mother is the woman who gives birth, whereas paternal filiation is established right after signing the consent which allows them to undergo the fertility treatment that will let them become parents. This means gamete donors have no parental right or obligation over the unborn child.
On the other hand, the Law does not address how many embryos should be transferred to the maternal uterus, yet it just indicates that one can have fertilized and transferred as many embryos as necessary to guarantee the success of the treatment.
It just allows for the genetic screening of the embryos in specific cases where severe genetic diseases or abnormalities can be prevented. Also, sex selection is not allowed except in very specific cases in which it may help avoid a condition linked to gender.
Should not every embryo created be used, embryo freezing and storage for later use in additional fertility treatments is an option.
Couples who decide not to use the embryos they stored have to sign an informed consent in case they wish to donate them for the reproductive purposes of another couple. An additional option consists in donating them for stem cell research.
As for gamete donation, donors must act voluntarily and altruistically. Financial compensation in recognition of the expenses derived from the donation process is allowed, though. In this sense, the fertility clinic may ask the intended parents to provide such compensation at their own expense.
Gamete donors must remain anonymous as well. This means donor identity disclosure to the intended parents is not allowed, not vice versa. Neither donor-conceived children can have access to the identity of their donor, nor donors can come into contact with the child.
Requirements to become a gamete donor
In order for someone to become an egg or sperm donor in the Czech Republic, a series of requirements must be followed:
- Age: Women who are about to become egg donors must be above age 18, but not older than 35. In the case of sperm donors, the age limit is set to 40 years old.
- They have to be medically pre-screened in order for their state of health to be checked.
- They must sign an informed consent. By doing it, they allow the embryos created from their gametes to be donated for stem cell research in case there are some spare embryos once the cycle finishes.
Fertility clinics must keep the information on the donor’s state of health for 30 years from the very moment the treatment using donated gametes is started.