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Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008

  • Explanatory Notes Table of contents

Please note:

All reference to 'Parts' and 'sections' are from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008. For other versions of these Explanatory Notes, see More Resources.

  1. Introduction

  2. List of Abbreviations Used in the Explanatory Notes

  3. Background

    1. Review of the 1990 Act

  4. Overview

    1. Part 1

    2. Part 2

    3. Part 3

  5. Territorial Extent

  6. Commentary on Sections

    1. Part 1: Amendments of Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990

      1. Section 1: Meaning of “embryo” and “gamete”

      2. Section 2: Meaning of “nuclear DNA”

      3. Section 3: Prohibitions in connection with embryos

      4. Section 4: Prohibitions in connection with genetic material not of human origin

      5. Section 5: Membership of the Authority: disqualification and tenure

      6. Section 6: Additional general functions of the Authority

      7. Section 7: Duties in relation to carrying out its functions

      8. Section 8: Power to contract out functions etc.

      9. Section 9: Power to assist other public authorities

      10. Section 10: Power to delegate and establish committees

      11. Section 11: Activities that may be licensed

        1. Licences for treatment

        2. Embryo testing

        3. Tissue typing

        4. Testing in the event of uncertainty

        5. Sex selection

        6. Licences for research

        7. Purposes for which embryo research may be undertaken

        8. Genetic modification of cells

        9. Human admixed  embryos

        10. Licences for storage (of human admixed embryos)

      12. Section 12: General conditions of licences

      13. Section 13: Consent to use or storage of gametes, embryos and human admixed embryos etc.

        1. Formalities of consent

        2. Physical incapacity

        3. Purpose of consent

        4. Variation and withdrawal of consent

        5. Non-medical fertility services

        6. Consent to use of human cells

        7. Cases where consent not required for storage

        8. Creation, use and storage of human admixed embryos

        9. Exceptions to the requirement for consent

          1. Existing cells or cell lines

        10. Adults who lack capacity

        11. Cells from children

      14. Section 14: Conditions of licences for treatment

        1. Embryo testing

        2. Welfare of the Child

        3. Welfare of the child where basic partner treatment services are provided

        4. Requirement to offer counselling

      15. Section 15: Conditions of storage licences

      16. Section 16: Grant of licence

      17. Section 17: The person responsible

      18. Section 18: Revocation and variation of licence

      19. Section 19: Procedure for refusal, variation or revocation of licence

      20. Section 20: Power to suspend licence

      21. Section 21: Reconsideration and appeals

      22. Section 22: Directions

      23. Section 23: Code of Practice

      24. Section 24: Register of information

      25. Section 25: Restrictions on disclosure of information

      26. Section 26: Mitochondrial donation

      27. Section 27: Fees

      28. Section 28: Inspection, entry, search and seizure

      29. Section 29: Offences under 1990 Act

      30. Section 31: Power to make consequential provision

      31. Section 32: Orders under the 1990 Act

    2. Part 2:  Parenthood in Cases Involving Assisted Reproduction

      1. Section 33: Meaning of “mother”

      2. Section 35: Woman married at time of treatment

      3. Sections 36 and 37: Fatherhood conditions

      4. Section 38: Further provisions relating to sections 35 and 36

      5. Section 39: Use of sperm, or transfer of embryo, after death of man providing sperm

      6. Section 40: Embryo transferred after death of husband etc. who did not provide sperm

      7. Section 41: Persons not to be treated as father

      8. Section 42: Women in civil partnership at time of treatment

      9. Sections 43 and 44: Female parenthood conditions

      10. Section 45: Further provision relating to sections 42 and 43

      11. Section 46: Embryo transferred after death of civil partner or intended female parent

      12. Section 47: Woman not to be other parent merely because of egg donation

      13. Section 48: Effect of sections 33 to 47

      14. Section 52: Late election by mother with consent of Registrar General

      15. Section 53: Interpretation of references to father etc.

      16. Section 54: Parental orders

      17. Section 56: Amendments relating to parenthood in cases involving assisted reproduction

        1. Amendments in Part 1 of Schedule 6

          1. Population (Statistics) Act 1938

          2. Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953

          3. Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Special Provisions) Act 1957

          4. Family Law Reform Act 1969

          5. Congenital Disabilities (Civil Liability) Act 1976

          6. Legitimacy Act 1976

          7. Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980

          8. Supreme Court Act 1981

          9. British Nationality Act 1981

          10. Family Law Act 1986

          11. Family Law Reform Act 1987

          12. Children Act 1989

          13. Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990

          14. Child Support Act 1991

          15. Family Law Act 1996

          16. Access to Justice Act 1999

          17. Adoption and Children Act 2002

          18. Mental Capacity Act 2005

        2. Amendments in Part 2 of Schedule 6

          1. Children and Young Persons (Scotland) Act 1937

          2. Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Scotland) Act 1965

          3. Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985

          4. Children (Scotland) Act 1995

          5. Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995

          6. Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007

        3. Amendments in Part 3 of Schedule 6

          1. Legitimacy Act (Northern Ireland) 1928

          2. Births and Deaths Registration (Northern Ireland) Order 1976

          3. Family Law Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 1977

          4. Adoption (Northern Ireland) Order 1987

          5. Child Support (Northern Ireland) Order 1991

          6. Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995

          7. Family Homes and Domestic Violence (Northern Ireland) Order 1998

    3. Part 3: Miscellaneous and General

      1. Section 59: Surrogacy arrangements

      2. Section 60: Exclusion of embryos from definition of organism in Part 6 of the EPA 1990

  7. Commencement

  • Explanatory Notes Table of contents

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.

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