The Croat parliament on Friday passed an amended law on in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) making it easier for couples to receive treatment to help them to conceive.
Under the revised law couples only have to sign a statement confirming they are in a relationship. Previously they had to prove before a court they had been together for three years.
AdvertisementThe new law, however, will still ban the freezing of embryos despite strong criticism from the opposition and parents' groups.
"Freezing of embryos is the gold standard everywhere in Europe except in Croatia," deputy of the main opposition Social Democrats, Milanka Opacic, said before the vote.
She accused Health Minister Darko Milinovic of denying couples access to the best means of overcoming fertility.
Until the new law, which was adopted in its unamended form in July, the freezing of embryos had been used by Croatia's doctors in IVF treatments.
The former Yugoslav republic's original legislation dated back to 1978, the year that the world's first test-tube baby was born. At that time freezing of embryos did not yet exist as a fertility technique.
Under the new law, children conceived by donated eggs or sperm will also be able to obtain information about his or her biological parents when they reach 18 if donors have given their prior agreement.
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