Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [Lords]

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Dr. Pugh: Will the Minister give way?
Dawn Primarolo: I should just like to make the general points to get them on the record, but after that I am happy for the hon. Gentleman to respond. I should like to state my case first.
Before we go down the highways and byways of human rights and everything else, it is good to mention that the Joint Committee on Human Rights said that it was concerned about the suggestion that the donor information should appear on the birth certificate, because it felt that it raised serious concerns about the privacy of the donor as well as of the donor-conceived individual. On that basis, the Government recognised that this was a highly complicated issue and that other considerations were in place, including “telling and talking” projects and counselling. We accepted in another place that it would be sensible, after the Bill receives Royal Assent—we cannot start before then—for us to consider the matter and return to the House within four years.
The final point was about what the Department for Work and Pensions record says. The DWP White Paper, which was written before the Bill—although the Bill is going the way the White Paper wants to go—is about the responsibility of parents. That has been recognised, specifically, in the context of a commitment to the upbringing of the child, financially and otherwise. The White Paper addresses that point, which is already dealt with in the Bill. The Bill also includes a cross-reference to the child support legislation to ensure that there is a commitment in that regard. Although the White Paper was written without reference to the details in the Bill, which has yet to receive Royal Assent, the Bill does not contradict it. In fact, the White Paper talks about bringing everything up to the point where all parents are responsible, including mothers and fathers and those in civil partnerships and relationships. That is a different discussion.
It being twenty-five minutes past Ten o’clock, The Chairman adjourned the Committee without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order.
Adjourned till this day at One o’clock.
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