Researching a family

A couple of newspaper articles that hit our national news that concern me….

Mitochondrial transfer is controversial because the healthy donor DNA is inserted into IVF embryos. That means the genetic material is not only carried by the child that grows from the embryo, but is passed down the female line to all future generations. So far there is no evidence that the procedure is dangerous, but unknown side-effects could emerge and affect all of the generations that carry the donor DNA. (The Guardian)

Despite the discontent, many scientists are backing the procedure saying it will offer hope for women who have no other chance of a healthy family. (The Telegraph)

My response is:

1) Unknown side effects – dont you think they should be explored and the worst case scenario understood before a vote is taken to proceed with making this legal?

2) There is another, more ethical, chance of a healthy family – adoption. Since Autumn last year, over 8000 children in the UK are waiting to be adopted (

So this is what I emailed my local MP…..

Having seen recent news headlines regarding a vote to change the Embryology Act in a bid to defeat mitochondria, I share concerns outlined by Fiona Bruce MP regarding the safety of such a procedure and any unknown side effects. I would be very wary of voting for a procedure that isn’t 100% safe and I would argue that more needs to be done so that a vote can be taken that is better informed on safety.

On the broader issue of family planning, I would like to know what the Government is doing to speed up the process for adoption. It is a shame that adoption figures were higher in the 70s than they are today, resulting in more children being brought up in care. I believe more should be done to promote adoption as an alternative to costly IVF treatments and the legal minefield of surrogacy through publicity on adoption success stories, the numbers of children currently waiting for a loving family and the support that exists for families wishing to take this life-changing step.
This blog is for Unicef. Thanks for reading.