Spanish legislation summary for the donation of gametes

Egg donation is a fully regulated and strictly controlled activity in Spain. In fact, Spanish legislation on egg donation is one of the most advanced in Europe. In particular, Spain has been regulating and controlling egg donation since 1988, becoming one of the first countries to legislate on this matter. It also has clear and transparent laws on donation and Assisted Reproduction which regulate medical practice in this field. In this regard, donation is carried out following well-articulated and stringent medical, ethical and legal guidelines and with results above the European average, which is why many patients from all over the world trust in Eugin to make their wish to be parents come true.

In addition to Royal Decree 412/96 on obligatory protocols for the study of donors, and Royal Decree 9/2014 establishing quality and safety standards for the donation, procurement, evaluation, processing, preservation, storage and distribution of human cells and tissues, Law 14/2006 of 26 May on Assisted Reproduction Techniques also addresses some points that are of interest to us.

Receptor

In Spain, any woman over 18 years old and in full capacity to act can receive or use Assisted Reproduction Techniques controlled by law, as long as written consent is provided. The woman can use or receive these techniques independently of her marital status or sexual orientation (Art. 6.1). If she is married, the husband’s consent is also required, unless they are legally, or in practice, separated, and this fact is officially recognised (Art. 6.3).

Donor

The choice of donor is the responsibility of the medical team, as specified in Art. 6.4. Under no circumstances can the donor be chosen by the patients. Maximum phenotypical and immunological similarity must be ensured, as well as maximum compatibility with the receiving woman. Anonymity of the donor must also be ensured.

Cryopreservation

Art. 11.1 of the current law 14/2006, establishes that semen may be frozen in authorised gamete banks during the lifetime of the man it proceeds from. The use of frozen eggs and ovarian tissue, on the other hand, requires prior authorization from the corresponding health authority. The pre-embryos left over from an IVF process, which are not transferred to the woman during the cycle, can be frozen in banks authorized for this purpose and their cryo-preservation can be prolonged until the moment in which the doctors responsible consider that the receptor no longer fulfils the clinical requirements necessary for the practice of assisted reproduction techniques. Article 11.4 establishes four possible uses for the frozen pre-embryos: use by the woman or couple themselves, donation for investigation ends, donation for reproduction or the end of their cryo-preservation without being used. Every two years, minimum, the woman or progenitor couple will be required to renew or modify their consent for the use of these frozen pre-embryos (Art. 11.6).

Egg donation has been a regulated and controlled activity in Spain since 1988 and, currently, Spanish legislation on egg donation is regarded as one of the most advanced in Europe, with clear and transparent donation and Assisted Reproduction laws regulating medical practice in this field.

Gamete donation in Spain is regulated by Royal Decree 412/1996, by Royal Decree Law 9/2014 and by Law 14/2006 on Assisted Reproduction.

Specifically, Law 14/2006 on Assisted Human Reproduction techniques is the one allowing access to these procedures to all women from the age of 18, regardless of their marital status or sexual orientation. Naturally, there must be conscious, free and express consent prior to the implementation of the procedure. If the woman is married, her partner must also consent to the implementation of the technique.

This law also includes essential points in the area of egg donation such as the fact that the choice of donor can only be made by the medical team and questions relating to cryopreservation.

If you still have any questions regarding egg donation and the Spanish legislation regulating this field, you can refer to our website: Ask our expert.

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