Changes in matters relating to in vitro will come into force from November.

Single women who have frozen embryos or oocytes in clinics will have to use them before 1st November. – “Before the Act on the infertility treatment comes into force. The new regulations provide assisted reproduction treatment (in vitro fertilization and insemination) exclusively for couples” – alerts the Coalition for Comprehensive Infertility Therapy.

According to the law, which will come into force on 1st November, the in vitro procedure will only be available to married couples and those remaining in common-law partnership. The new rules exclude the possibility of artificial insemination with sperm from an anonymous donor to be used by single women.

This treatment had previously been the most common method of assisted reproduction for single women who wanted to have a child. An additional restriction, even for those remaining in common-law partnership, in the case of treatments using semen from an anonymous donor, will be the requirement to submit to the Registry Office a declaration of paternity by a man. Without this document the commencement of the treatment will not be possible. Such a procedure was not required up to now.

Interestingly, the Act, contrary to the “intimate relationships” of patients, does not take into account the age of women, which may be a real condition preventing the use of treatment with assisted reproduction methods. Pursuant to the new provisions of law, in fact a 60-year-old lady with a partner will be able to benefit from the IVF treatment and a single 30-year-old will not be entitled to it.

Comments of experts:

Marta van der Toolen, the Director of FertiMedica Infertility Center:
“The Act on the infertility treatment discriminates women because of their life situation. The new rules do not leave much of a choice. Women who do not have a life partner with whom they could have a child can apply for the ‘last minute’ in vitro procedure or look for a man who will officially declare that he will be the father of the future child”.

“The Act on the infertility treatment may also force single women, who in the course of the in vitro procedure froze embryos, to make very difficult decisions and transfer the embryos to an anonymous donation. This may result in traumatic experiences. Inability to fulfil such an important need as having a child is mentally very aggravating for women who try to become pregnant”.

Anna Krawczak the President of the “Nasz Bocian” (Our Stork) Association:
“Women deciding on the in vitro method were not warned that the law would work backwards. The Act set them with a difficult choice – either now opt for the in vitro or in a moment lose that right forever. What is interesting, the Polish legislation allows a single person to adopt a child and, in the case of embryos, a new group of citizens was created, whose father and mother have to be indicated. The intention of the Act is in fact to close the gates for single-sex parenthood”.

Krystyna Kacpura, the director of the Federation for Women and Family Planning stated:
“The Federation for Women and Family Planning is against the restrictions on the availability of the in vitro procedure for single women. We believe that this is a manifestation of discrimination and inequality in the access to medical services for single women. The Act should be addressed to all women without distinction between married or single ones. Single women are full citizens of our country and there is no reason for them to be excluded from access to treatment, including the in vitro treatment”.

Łukasz Smolnik
Spokesman for the Coalition for Comprehensive Infertility Treatment
Phone: + 48 696 07 44 61