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24 JUL 2009

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Consequential Amendments and Transitional and Saving Provisions) Order 2009

FRI 24/07/2009 - This Order is made under sections 61 and 64 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 ("the 2008 Act").

Article 2 and Schedules 1 and 2 to the Order make consequential amendments relating to the parenthood provisions contained in Part 2 of the 2008 Act. Amendments are made to both primary and secondary legislation to ensure that a woman who is a parent of a child by virtue of section 42 (civil partner at time of treatment) or 43 (agreed second female parent) of the 2008 Act, has the same rights and obligations as any other legal parent of a child. The key areas amended for England and Wales relate to birth registration, protected person status, prohibited family relationships (marriage and civil partnerships), adoption, court rules, immigration and parental orders. In addition amendments are made to Northern Ireland legislation relating to birth registration and parental responsibility.

Article 3 and Schedule 3 make other consequential amendments to secondary legislation not relating to the parenthood provisions. Amendments are made to update references to the terms "embryos" and "gametes" to reflect the amendments to these definitions in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 ("the 1990 Act), made by the 2008 Act. Other references to provisions of the 1990 Act which have been amended are also updated, including changes to the information provisions.

Article 4 and Schedule 4 make transitional and saving provisions. The licensing obligations are set out for any person holding a treatment, research, storage or non medical fertility licence under the 1990 Act which was granted on or before 30th September 2009 and which is still operative on 1st October 2009. Provision is also made for any outstanding requests for information, inspections and enforcement proceedings involving the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority ("the HFEA"). The procedure at the HFEA in relation to outstanding applications for revocations and variations of licences, licensing decisions, reconsideration of licensing decisions, appeals and suspension is also provided for.

Provision is made so that The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (Disclosure of Donor Information) Regulations 2004 will remain in force (subject to the amendments made by paragraph 6 of Schedule 3 to the Order) as will section 31 of the 1990 Act for the purpose of amending or revoking those Regulations.

This Order comes into force for the purposes of article 2 and Schedules 1 and 2 on 1 September 2009, and for all other purposes on 1 October 2009.

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