by VR Sreeraman on  September 11, 2009 at 1:23 PM General Health News
 Croatia Amends Controversial IVF Law
Croatia's government moved Thursday to amend a law on in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) after strong criticism from human rights and parents groups over its criteria for couples entitled to treatment.

Under the amendments forwarded to parliament, couples will now only have to sign a notarised statement confirming they are in a relationship rather than have to prove before a court they have been together for three years, Health Minister Darko Milinovic told a cabinet session.

Also as part of the changes, children conceived by donated eggs or sperm will now be allowed to obtain information about his or her biological parents once turning 18 only if donors have given their prior agreement.

However provisions in the law which ban the freezing of embryos will not be altered.

Croatia's original legislation on medically assisted reproduction dates back to 1978, when the world's first test-tube baby was born. The former Yugoslav republic had its first IVF baby five years later.

Many believe that the new law was not adopted until 2009 due to strong opposition from the influential Roman Catholic Church.

Between 2,000 and 3,000 Croatian women suffer from infertility and are potential candidates for IVF treatment, medical sources estimate.

Source: AFP

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