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Meet The Parents. Jack and Jill got married. Jack and Jill went up a hill…. Jack and Jill decided to have a baby. Unfortunately Jack\'s swimmers were no good. Meet Clive, Jack and Jill needed his sperm. Unfortunately Jill\'s eggs were no good either.

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Jack and Jill got married

Jack and Jill went up a hill….


Unfortunately Jack\'s swimmers were no good.

Meet Clive, Jack and Jill needed his sperm


Unfortunately Jill\'s eggs were no good either.

Meet Sarah, one of her eggs was donated for Jack and Jill to use.


Unfortunately Jill\'s womb was no good either.

Meet Lisa, she is carrying the baby in her womb for 9 months for Jack and Jill.

She is a Surrogate.


Modern Parenthood

IVF babies can have up to 5


1. Biological mother (egg donor)

2. Biological father (sperm donor)

3. Surrogate mother (the woman

who gives birth)

4. Commissioning mother

5. Commissioning father


In the UK 30,000 couples receive fertility treatment each year. There is only a 20% success rate.

Treatment is expensive around £3000.

This is not usually covered by the NHS. There are many ways in which a couple may become pregnant, but these tend to be variations of the 4 main methods.


IVF in vitro fertilization – more commonly called ‘test tube’. The eggs and sperm are collected and put together to be fertilized in a petri dish, and then placed in the uterus.

This method is used when a woman cannot conceive naturally or there is infertility. There is about a 20% success rate.

The eggs and sperm could have come from donors. The eggs and sperm would have been kept frozen ready for use, and once fertilized any unused eggs will be destroyed.

Concerns over the way in which we appear able to manufacture babies led the government to introduce the Human Fertilization and Embryology Act 1990. It regulates on research, storage and treatments.


In Vitro Maturation or IVM.

  • In 2007 the HFEA permitted IVM as an alternative to IVF. It involves removing immature eggs from a woman\'s ovaries and maturing them in a lab before fertilising them with a man’s sperm. This does not require hormone drugs.
  • It is safer and much less expensive than IVF. It is suitable for women under 38.

AIH artificial insemination by the husband.

This is where sperm is collected from the husband and artificially inserted into his wife’s uterus.

Fertilization then takes place naturally.

AIH is used when the husband has a low sperm count. The success rate is quite low


AID artificial insemination by donor.

This is carried out when a women’s partner is infertile, or a single woman wants a child.

Sperm is collected from a donor, whose identity is normally kept secret. This is highly controversial. Many feel a child has a right to know his or her biological father. Some religious groups see the use of a donor’s sperm as being the same as adultery.


Surrogacy or ‘womb-renting’. This is where a woman has a baby for another couple.

Conception is usually by artificial methods, and can be using the couple’s and/or donor’s eggs and sperm.

In the majority of cases it is used when the woman cannot medically carry a pregnancy.

For many surrogacy is the only alternative to childlessness.

In the UK, where surrogacy occurs, it is illegal to pay someone to do it. The child must be genetically related to at least one of the commissioning couple.



The use of fertility treatments is a highly controversial issue and raises many ethical questions.

Who should receive treatment – is it a matter of who has the money?

Should women be allowed to have children from their dead partner?

At what age does a couple become too old to receive treatment?

Who should be allowed access to IVF?

Should LGBT couples be allowed to take advantage of fertility treatment?

What happens to the embryos which are not used?

Should parents who are deaf be allowed to have a deaf baby?


One day it might be possible to make sperm and eggs (gametes) from other bodily cells. In theory, this might allow two women to create a child that is genetically theirs.


Stem cells are thought to hold huge potential for treating a wide range of disease and disability. Scientists around the world are working on techniques to refine stem cell therapy.


Critics have expressed horror about research to create a human embryo with genetic material from three parents.

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