In terms of reproductive medicine the law in the Czech Republic is considered as reasonable and quite liberal. All crucial issues are regulated – especially the procedures and rules linked to egg and embryo donation.
There are some limits, however, when it comes to fertility treatments for opposite sex couples regardless of their marital status. Despite that, most clinics will accept a woman undergoing artificial insemination or IVF program alone as long as she brings a notarized document indicating her male partner’s permission to use donor sperm. Only one or two clinics actually require both partners to be present for treatment.
ART methods and PGD diagnosis cannot be used to choose a future child’s sex. The only exception is when it helps to prevent serious genetic diseases that are incompatible with the postnatal development of a child, may significantly shorten the life, cause early disablement or other serious health consequences, or are untreatable given our present level of knowledge.
The Ministry of Health in the Czech Republic is the main authority and governs among others all aspects of patients testing prior to treatment, storing of tissues (eggs, sperm, embryos) and any transport laws dealing with use and shipping of sperm and embryos. These rules are subject to the European tissue directive which impacts IVF methods and donation of reproductive cells.
Sperm, egg and embryo donation is fully anonymous. This also applies to the relation between donor and a child born from her eggs. You shouldn’t expect photographs of donors but you may select a woman who donates her eggs by other characteristics ie. blood type, weight, height, hair/eye colour. All data about procedure, a donor and patients who underwent in vitro with donor eggs should be stored in clinic for a period of 30 years. If a medical concern of any sort follows the procedure (especially if a genetic threat or disposition is discovered), such information should be revealed to the child or its legal representative.
It is allowed to give donors financial compensation for their time and expenses (usually it is an amount comparable to an average salary for one month).
The eggs recipient shouldn’t be older than 49 years according to local law. The egg donation programs are offered to infertile couples (man and woman) and that means that it is illegal to treat single woman and same sex couples in this country.
A woman who wants to donate her eggs should be 18 to 35 years of age. She must have full legal capacity. She needs to make her decision on donating her eggs voluntarily. In most IVF centers donors must meet very strict criteria of selection process. Some of them follows , standards set by international associations such as the American Association for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and European Society of Reproductive Medicine and Embryology (ESHRE). Usually the qualification process includes general, hormonal and genetic testing, ultrasounds and medical consultation, sexually transmitted diseases and infections. In some clinics psychological evaluation is obligatory as well.
According to local law the person who gives birth is considered to be a mother of a child. That makes surrogacy a complicated process in the Czech Republic. As the topic rises much concern and is widely debated, regulations may be changed in the future. Currently a lot of clinics will proceed with in vitro program even if a couple comes for treatment with a gestational carrier from their home country (using the patient’s own sperm & eggs, donor eggs, or frozen donor embryos). This way patients from abroad may benefit from lower costs of treatment without legal problems.
Before you make your final decision on undergoing treatment, please make sure that you understand all law restrictions and all documents you are about to sign. It is crucial for you future situation so do not hesitate to ask in your clinic and to demand comprehensive information.
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