Donor insemination to come (finally) to Italy

invitroChildless Italian couples will soon be able to use donor sperm for insemination. The new law will be passed in deference to  a ruling last year by Italy’s Constitutional Court that declared a previous law banning assisted fertilization unconstitutional.

The Italian health minister, Beatrice Lorenzin said earlier this month that by the end of the year it should be possible to carry out donor insemination at health service hospitals all over Italy on a co-payment basis, the same as for homologous insemination.

This will represent a huge change in Italian legislation as for years Italian couples with severe fertility issues have been forced to go abroad for treatments with non-homologous sperm.

One issue that has not been resolved is that of compatibility, that is to what extent couples can ask fertility centers to guarantee compatibility of blood group, hair color, eye color and skin color, although some say the latter would smack of racism.

Another thing that will have to be written into the law is some kind of safeguard to make sure that in in-vitro fertilization there won’t ever be a repeat of an embryo mix-up last year which left a Rome couple with twins who are not their biological offspring and a second couple (the biological parents) with no children at all.

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