England–“Dr Josephine Quintavalle, of the pressure group Comment on Reproductive Ethics, said: ‘We do not condone deceit, but it does show how desperate women are often to get pregnant.’
“She added: ‘If men give their consent to the creation of embryos, I don’t think they should be able to withdraw their consent.'”
When a man does something wrong, he’s bad. When a woman does, she’s desperate. In the story below, the word “desperate” is used twice in a 515 word story, lest anyone read a few paragraphs and be tempted to hold the woman accountable for her actions.
Thanks to Malcolm, a reader, for the story.
Husband discovered he was a father of two after estranged wife forged his signature in IVF deception
By Colin Fernandez
Daily Mail, 3/7/08
A husband is threatening legal action after his estranged wife twice gave birth without his consent by using frozen embryos created while they were still together.
The woman deceived a world-renowned IVF clinic into fertilising her on two occasions by forging her husband’s signature on a consent form.
Her husband only learned he was the genetic father when one of the children became seriously ill and a relative broke ranks and contacted him.
Research shows that an increasing number of women desperate to conceive are duping clinics to be fertilised with eggs for which their former partners have not given consent.
Bourn Hall Clinic, in Cambridge, where the world’s first “test-tube baby”, Louise Brown, was conceived, confirmed it had been contacted by lawyers representing the father.
Dr Thomas Mathews, the clinic medical director, said: “There has been a case where a woman deceived us into implanting embryos without her husband’s consent.
“The Human Fertility and Embryology Authority recommends that husbands are present, but it is not a legal requirement…
A spokesman for the HFEA said it believed the legal safeguards to ensure both the father and a mother of a frozen embryo had given their consent were sufficient.
John Paul Maytum, of the HFEA, said: “The systems are there to ensure the proper consent is obtained. It is up to the clinics to implement them.”
He added that either partner could withdraw consent to stop the other using a frozen embryo held at an IVF clinic.
“Of course when a relationship breaks up it is probably not the first thing that a person thinks of,” he said.
Mr Maytum said that in the 17 years of the HFEA’s existence there had been very few similar cases.
However, recent research by St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, suggests that half of British fertility clinics are being duped into treating patients using false identities.
Many clinics believe they may have experienced fraud such as patients lying about their age or the true identity of the potential father, said researchers.
Dr Josephine Quintavalle, of the pressure group Comment on Reproductive Ethics, said: “We do not condone deceit, but it does show how desperate women are often to get pregnant.”
She added: “If men give their consent to the creation of embryos, I don’t think they should be able to withdraw their consent.”
Read the full article here.