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Welfare of the child

It is a requirement of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Act 1990 (as amended) and a HFEA licence condition that "a woman shall not be provided with treatment services unless account has been taken of the welfare of any child who may be born as a result of the treatment (including the need of that child for supportive parenting), and of any other child who may be affected by the birth." Section 13 (5).

As a licenced clinic, we are required by law to ensure that we know of no medical or social reason why our patients might not be suitable to receive treatment, including anything that may adversely affect the welfare of any resulting child.

Our patients will be routinely asked to complete a 'Welfare of the Child Form'.  If there are any child protection/safeguarding issues or evidence of a previous relevant conviction, it may be necessary for us to make further enquiries through the GP, Social Services, the Probation Service and the Police Department. In order to do this, we would require your written consent. Refusal to give consent may be taken into account when considering whether or not to offer treatment.

Treatment may be refused on clinical grounds if the clinic staff believe that it would not be in the best interests of any existing or resulting child to provide the patient with such treatment.

Patients will be given the opportunity to meet with senior members of the Clinical Team and given the opportunity to state their views before any decision is made not to offer treatment. In certain circumstances, a case may be referred to the hospital's Ethics Committee. This is an independent body of professional and lay people who meet to advise the hospital. They have a responsibility to ensure that the patient's treatment is ethically acceptable.