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Human Clinical Embryology and Assisted Conception MSc

EVENTS

Birth Certificates and Assisted Reproduction: Setting the Record Straight?

Progress Educational Trust
Institute of Child Health, University College London, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH
17 October 2016 6pm (registration), 6.30pm-8.30pm (discussion)
Dr Marilyn Crawshaw, Chair of the British Association of Social Workers' Project Group on Assisted Reproduction and speaker at the Progress Educational Trust's FREE-to-attend evening event 'Birth Certificates and Assisted Reproduction: Setting the Record Straight?', taking place in London on Monday 17 October 2016 Craig Reisser, Development and International Programmes Director for Oregon Reproductive Medicine and speaker at the Progress Educational Trust's FREE-to-attend evening event 'Birth Certificates and Assisted Reproduction: Setting the Record Straight?', taking place in London on Monday 17 October 2016 Natalie Gamble, Founder of Natalie Gamble Associates and speaker at the Progress Educational Trust's FREE-to-attend evening event 'Birth Certificates and Assisted Reproduction: Setting the Record Straight?', taking place in London on Monday 17 October 2016 Peter Braude, Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at King's College London and chair of the Progress Educational Trust's FREE-to-attend evening event 'Birth Certificates and Assisted Reproduction: Setting the Record Straight?', taking place in London on Monday 17 October 2016 Kate Litwinczuk, donor-conceived person and speaker at the Progress Educational Trust's FREE-to-attend evening event 'Birth Certificates and Assisted Reproduction: Setting the Record Straight?', taking place in London on Monday 17 October 2016 Steven Snyder, Founding and Principal Partner at Steven H Snyder and Associates and speaker at the Progress Educational Trust's FREE-to-attend evening event 'Birth Certificates and Assisted Reproduction: Setting the Record Straight?', taking place in London on Monday 17 October 2016 Dr Julie McCandless, Assistant Professor of Medical and Family Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science and speaker at the Progress Educational Trust's FREE-to-attend evening event 'Birth Certificates and Assisted Reproduction: Setting the Record Straight?', taking place in London on Monday 17 October 2016
A free-to-attend evening event in London, about the purpose and content of birth certificates in light of developments in science, medicine, law and society.
The event is produced by the Progress Educational Trust (PET) and is supported by the Edwards and Steptoe Research Trust Fund, Oregon Reproductive Medicine, Natalie Gamble Associates and Steven H Snyder and Associates.
The event will be chaired by Professor Peter Braude, with speakers including Dr Marilyn Crawshaw, Natalie Gamble, Kate Litwinczuk, Dr Julie McCandless, Craig Reisser and Steven Snyder.
Attendance is free, but advance booking is required. Please email Sandy Starr at to book places.
If tweeting about this event, please use the hashtag #PETrecord. If you use Facebook, you can join the Facebook page for the event here.

What is the purpose of a birth certificate? What information should a birth certificate contain? For whose benefit do we register births?
There have been conflicting opinions on these matters since at least 1837, when responsibility for registering English births passed from the Church of England to the General Register Office. But the advent of assisted reproduction, and the emergence of new family forms, have raised challenging new questions about the purpose and content of birth certificates. Consequently, the Law Commission is considering whether to review the law in this area.
Birth certificates have already been affected by changes in UK fertility law. For example, it is now possible for two people of the same sex to appear as parents on a birth certificate. However, the UK law that directly governs birth certificates has remained largely unchanged since 1953, 25 years before the first IVF baby was even born. This law stipulates that no more than two parents can appear on a birth certificate, but does not stipulate that these parents must be biologically related to the child.
Recent years have seen growing social acceptance of non-traditional family forms including single parents, same-sex parents, transgender parents and co-parents. These developments have gone hand-in-hand with advances in science and medicine, creating scenarios that could scarcely have been envisaged by policymakers in 1953 (much less in 1837). For example:
A child can be created with sperm, eggs or embryos donated by a third party.
Intending parents can arrange for a surrogate to carry a child.
A transgender person can preserve their sperm or eggs, transition to a different gender (whereupon - if they apply successfully to have their their acquired gender legally recognised in the UK - they will be issued with a new birth certificate), and then conceive a child using their preserved gametes.
In the UK, it is legal to conceive a child using genetic material from three people - two parents plus an anonymous mitochondrial donor - in order to avoid the transmission of inherited mitochondrial disease.
When IVF is combined with the possibility of freezing sperm, eggs or embryos, conception and/or birth can take place without either of the biological parents even having to be alive.
Administrative errors during fertility treatment can result in women having to adopt their own children, or - conversely - being wrongly listed as a child's mother.
Scenarios like those above are further complicated when a child is conceived and/or born overseas - an increasingly common situation, with the rise of cross-border reproductive care.
In light of all these developments, is it now time to review the UK law on birth certificates? Or could changing the law in this area give rise to more problems than it solves?
If we decide to change birth certificates, do we want them to serve as a more accurate records of biological facts? For example, should birth certificates include details of any form of assisted reproduction that was used?
Alternatively, do we want to change birth certificates so they are better able to reflect non-biological facts? In the Canadian province of British Columbia, for example, it is now possible to list up to four parents on a birth certificate.
A panel of experts with different perspectives will debate these questions. In the PET tradition, much of the event's running time will be devoted to letting the audience put questions and comments to the speakers.
We expect this event to be popular (our most recent event in the same venue was standing room only). Book now to guarantee a place, by emailing Sandy Starr at

SPEAKERS

Dr Marilyn Crawshaw Dr Marilyn Crawshaw, Chair of the British Association of Social Workers' Project Group on Assisted Reproduction and speaker at the Progress Educational Trust's FREE-to-attend evening event 'Birth Certificates and Assisted Reproduction: Setting the Record Straight?', taking place in London on Monday 17 October 2016
Chair of the British Association of Social Workers' Project Group on Assisted Reproduction
Honorary Fellow (formerly Senior Lecturer) in Social Work at the University of York

Natalie Gamble Natalie Gamble, Founder of Natalie Gamble Associates and speaker at the Progress Educational Trust's FREE-to-attend evening event 'Birth Certificates and Assisted Reproduction: Setting the Record Straight?', taking place in London on Monday 17 October 2016
Solicitor and Founder of Natalie Gamble Associates and Brilliant Beginnings
Has acted in groundbreaking legal cases on donor conception, surrogacy and same-sex parenting, and has won changes to the law through campaigning work

Kate Litwinczuk Kate Litwinczuk, donor-conceived person and speaker at the Progress Educational Trust's FREE-to-attend evening event 'Birth Certificates and Assisted Reproduction: Setting the Record Straight?', taking place in London on Monday 17 October 2016
Donor-conceived person

Dr Julie McCandless Dr Julie McCandless, Assistant Professor of Medical and Family Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science and speaker at the Progress Educational Trust's FREE-to-attend evening event 'Birth Certificates and Assisted Reproduction: Setting the Record Straight?', taking place in London on Monday 17 October 2016
Assistant Professor of Medical and Family Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science
Coauthor of the European Parliament's Comparative Study of the Regime of Surrogacy in EU Member States (.pdf 14.4MB)

Craig Reisser Craig Reisser, Development and International Programmes Director for Oregon Reproductive Medicine and speaker at the Progress Educational Trust's FREE-to-attend evening event 'Birth Certificates and Assisted Reproduction: Setting the Record Straight?', taking place in London on Monday 17 October 2016
UK parent by donor egg surrogacy
Development and International Programmes Director for Oregon Reproductive Medicine

Steven Snyder Steven Snyder, Founding and Principal Partner at Steven H Snyder and Associates and speaker at the Progress Educational Trust's FREE-to-attend evening event 'Birth Certificates and Assisted Reproduction: Setting the Record Straight?', taking place in London on Monday 17 October 2016
Founding and Principal Partner at Steven H Snyder and Associates
Former Chair of the American Bar Association's Assisted Reproductive Technology Committee

CHAIR

Peter Braude Peter Braude, Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at King's College London and chair of the Progress Educational Trust's FREE-to-attend evening event 'Birth Certificates and Assisted Reproduction: Setting the Record Straight?', taking place in London on Monday 17 October 2016
Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (formerly Head of the Division of Women's Health) at King's College London
Member of expert panels that have reviewed the science of mitochondrial donation (in 2011, 2013 and 2014) and the ethics of mitochondrial donation (in 2012) for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and the Nuffield Council on Bioethics

PARTNERS AND SUPPORTERS

The Edwards and Steptoe Research Trust Fund, supporter of the Progress Educational Trust's FREE-to-attend evening event 'Birth Certificates and Assisted Reproduction: Setting the Record Straight?', taking place in London on Monday 17 October 2016
Oregon Reproductive Medicine, supporter of the Progress Educational Trust's FREE-to-attend evening event 'Birth Certificates and Assisted Reproduction: Setting the Record Straight?', taking place in London on Monday 17 October 2016
Steven H Snyder and Associates, supporter of the Progress Educational Trust's FREE-to-attend evening event 'Birth Certificates and Assisted Reproduction: Setting the Record Straight?', taking place in London on Monday 17 October 2016
Natalie Gamble Associates, supporter of the Progress Educational Trust's FREE-to-attend evening event 'Birth Certificates and Assisted Reproduction: Setting the Record Straight?', taking place in London on Monday 17 October 2016

FREE EVENT
Fertility Treatment Add-Ons: Do They Add Up?

London
29 March 2017
Details HERE

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