12 couples have cryopreserved embryos – Fearne

Embryo freezing - cryopreservation

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Health Minister Chris Fearne said that currently there are embryos belonging to 12 couples that are currently being cryopreserved.

Chris Fearne was answering a parliamentary question made by Claudio Grech who also asked how long have these embryos been cryopreserved.

To this Fearne replied that embryos from one couple have been in cryopreservation since September 2018, embryos from 10 couple have been in the same state since October 2018 and embryos from another couple since February 2019.

In 2018, 58 babies were born via IVF in Malta. In the same year controversy arose after the government proposals of the embryos’ act which even though it was very welcomed it was also greatly criticised.

524 doctors, including 98 consultants and over 100 GPs have signed a declaration stating their opposition against embryo cryopreservation which had been presented to Minister Christ Fearne.

Meanwhile, lawyer Tonio Azzopardi had lodged a constitutional protest i which he asked the Court to declare the Protection of the embryos’ act of 2018 as one that breaches the right of life of the embryo.

The government had proposed there elements: the cryopreservation of embryos, the donation of gametes (ovum and sperm) and the surrogacy. The approved law increased the amount of embryos that can be cryopreserved from three to five. Furthermore the new law also provides for children born from gametes donation to find out about their biological parents.