Skip to main content

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008

Government Bill

Originated in the House of Lords, Session 2007-08

Last updated: 25 February 2009 at 13:36

See full passage

Long title

A Bill to amend the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 and the Surrogacy Arrangements Act 1985; to make provision about the persons who in certain circumstances are to be treated in law as the parents of a child; and for connected purposes.


The Bill provides for revised and updated legislation on assisted reproduction and for changes to the regulation and licensing of embryo use in research and therapy. A draft Bill, the Human Tissue and Embryos Bill, was scrutinised by a joint committee of both Houses. Proposed changes to the Human Tissue Act 2004, such as the establishment of a new body called RATE, have been dropped. The revised name of this Bill reflects that change.

The Bill includes provision for research into different types of embryos, and proposes changes to definitions of legal parenthood for cases involving assisted reproduction.

Amendments to abortion law were tabled during the passage of this Bill. These were discussed by a Committee of the whole House but not passed.

Sponsoring departments

Department of Health
Lord Darzi of Denham
Labour, Life peer
Department of Health
Alan Johnson
Labour, Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle

Current version of the Bill

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008. c.22. HTML version
14 November 2008

Bill passage

Bill started in the House of Lords
1st reading
2nd reading
Committee stage
Report stage
3rd reading
Bill in the House of Commons
1st reading
2nd reading
Committee stage
Report stage
3rd reading
Final stages
Consideration of amendments
Royal Assent
In progress
Not applicable
Not yet reached