What will happen with my vitrified embryos after the fertility treatment?
Since the alerts popped out a couple of years ago after a publication in the United Kingdom about illegal embryo donation, many questions have arisen in this aspect.
How do patients know what the future of their vitrified embryos will be?
Parents that have undergone fertility treatments, such as anonymous egg donation and in vitro fertilization, have the right to decide about the future of their remaining embryos and must always provide express consent in case they want to donate them.
According to Spanish law about assisted reproduction, embryos that have been obtained from egg donation and/or IVF treatments may be kept vitrified whenever the mother is clinically healthy to become a mother. Taking this into account, there is no time limit to keep the embryos vitrified as occurs in other countries.
On the other hand, the law establishes that the consent for preservation and destination of vitrified embryos must be renewed every two years. Fertility clinics must contact their patients in order to do so. Experience shows that patients are sometimes not localizable or do not want to know about their embryos. In those cases, the fertility clinic in Spain, whenever patients have not answered positively to any of its notifications, has the property of the embryos and may decide its destination according to the law (donation for other couples, for research or destruction).
IVF-Spain has special awareness of this legal right and according to our ethical code and our close contact with our patients we are always looking forward to providing special care in this important part of the treatment.
Each patient decides what to do with its embryos. They can be donated to other couples, research, destroyed or kept for the future. IVF-Spain will never donate embryos to other couples without express consent of its patients. Should the embryos be abandoned they will not be destroyed, but will be used for scientific investigation. Therefore, to donate vitrified embryos to other couples, IVF-Spain has established protocols that oblige the Spanish fertility clinic to ask for an express consent signed in front of an attorney.