More than 20 per cent of couples from the British Isles who participated in the world’s first embryo adoption programme are Irish, the Medical Independent (MI) has learned.
The programme was established in 2004 by the Spanish-based Institut Marquès to give couples the opportunity to either donate or adopt unused frozen embryos. Under Spanish legislation, fertility clinics are permitted to donate frozen embryos to other patients once the couple has disengaged from them.
The pioneering programme registered 550 births to 30 April 2012. Figures released exclusively to this publication show that a total of 27 Irish couples and 103 British couples have taken part in either embryo donations or embryo adoptions during this period.
The figures show a high success rate of 81.48 per cent in the 27 Irish couples participating, resulting in 22 births. By comparison, 103 British patients did an embryo donation or adoption, resulting in the birth of 62 babies, equating to a success rate of around 60 per cent. Irish couples comprise just under 4 per cent of the total number of births to mothers from 28 countries.