Frozen embryos that were due to be destroyed in the next few weeks because they’d reached the storage time limit will be able to be saved, reports the BBC.
The time limit of storing embryos is set to increase from five years to 10 years from October. However some women looked as though their embryos would be destroyed in the final weeks before the new rule came into play because they would have reached the five-year limit.
Ministers decided that the embryos wouldn’t need to be destroyed, and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) said it would contact clinics straight away to the storage of the embryos could continue.
Health Minister Gillian Merron said, “The new rules will come into effect on 1 October and I will be seeking to make an order to Parliament to ensure this applies to embryos that are ‘out of time’ on that date.”
“I am delighted that the government has listened and made this commonsense decision. This will be an enormous relief to all of those people who faced the heartbreak of seeing their embryos destroyed all because of a matter of timing,” said Professor Lisa Jardine, chair of the HFEA.
The Health Minister also said, “For these women, this is tremendously important as it is all about extending their chance to have a much-wanted child.
“Their circumstances are morally straightforward but legally very complex – we have been urgently seeking ways to help them and I am very pleased today to be able to give them hope by taking this commonsense action.”