Moving eggs from Spain to the UK
Moonflake · 01/12/2022 18:53
Hi, I wonder if anyone experienced the same issue or can share some information.
I have my frozen eggs stored in IVI Valencia clinic. For personal reasons I would like to move them to the UK and have my treatment with Kings Fertility Clinic. I officially initiated the transfer in August 2022 and IVI was very fishy about the whole process. They told me upfront that it will take some months to transfer because they need authorisation for transfer to the UK from the Ministry of Health in Spain. Apparently this is due to the UK no longer being in the EU. I spoke to my transfer courier and they reassured me that typically the whole process takes about 2 months. I didn't have much choice anyway so went with it. 2 months later I checked with IVI about the progress and they told me that they only sent the request to the Ministry of Health mid September and in October received the request for more information, which they provided. I was asked to wait a little longer. So I did, for another 2 months. After hearing nothing form IVI I chased them again and they told me that the Ministry refused the transfer and I have to do the treatment in their clinic. I am completely shocked, in disbelief and frankly disguised. THis is MY eggs and I have a right to have a treatment in my home country. I was not given any reasons for refusal. Kings Fertility is a very reputable clinic with long standing history. SO my question is, what do I do now? How do I get my eggs from Spain? Did anyone here experienced the same issues? I am desperate because I have very limited time left to get pregnant. This situation is a nightmare. I could not find any information about the need to get permission for transfer, or any conditions on why the transfer from Spain is not permitted. I have a slight suspicion that the clinic deliberately screwed up the application, or simply lying to me about the whole "authorisation" thing, so they can keep me as a paying customer.
Carajillo · 02/12/2022 16:19
Hi @Moonflake. There are really strict laws on importing eggs, embryos or sperm from abroad to the UK, made much harder by Brexit. I suggest you look at the information from the HFEA here and maybe contact them for more information.
You also need to speak to King's about their policy on accepting your eggs from a Spanish clinic.
parietal · 02/12/2022 16:30
i moved eggs from a USA clinic to a UK one (after we moved internationally). the UK clinic arranged a courier (£1K) and all the paperwork (another £1k) but it was relatively stress-free.
whataboutya · 02/12/2022 17:11
Op, not the same but DH (French) was going to complete a type of stem cell transfer in France but his stem cells had already been collected in Uk and the paperwork was just crazy it made it near on impossible. Since brexit the import/export of biological matter is very complicated.
Propertyindisrepair · 02/12/2022 17:44
Oh op I’m so sorry that’s so stressful. I don’t know anything to help afraid but just sympathising
do they now have the 50 year storage lImit I’m Epsom now thigh so maybe not so time pressured??
Moonflake · 11/12/2022 06:39
Just to follow up on my first message. The reason that was stated on the refusal letter is that I do not have valid medical reasons to move my eggs for IVF in the UK. I’m completely lost here. Ivi Valencia is a commercial organisation, with whome I have a private contract to store my eggs. I’m a foreign customer, who decided to stop using their service for storing my eggs and move it to my home country. I never signed any agreements with them to do the actual IVF. Now they sent me to do some stupid chores collecting letters from my GP and the IVF doctor at Kings Fertility to prove that I have a valid medical condition. I dont even know what to write in those letters. What is valid medical condition to have ivf treatment in your home country? Otherwise they say that I’ll have to do it in Spain. It goes against any logic or common sense. UK clinic didn’t raise any concerns about importing eggs into the UK, it’s exporting out of Spain that causing all the problems.
Moonflake · 11/12/2022 06:52
@Carajillo thank you for your kind advice. Importing into the UK seems to be straight forward, Kings Fertility didn’t raise any concerns about importing from Spain. It’s Spanish authorities that are the problem. They do not allow me to take my eggs out of Spain into the UK, even though I’m British citizen.
The reason that was shared with me by IVi is that I don’t have valid medical reasons to do my treatment in the UK instead of Spain. My key reason is not medical. Spain does not allow women chose their donors. A nurse in the clinic will pick some random sperm and inseminate the woman with that. The idea makes me feel horrible, I want to have a say in who is going to be a father of my child, this Spanish way feels like rape to me. I know some woman don’t feel this way and I respect that, but for me it’s absolutely emotionally torturing.
UK allows selecting your own donor or importing the sperm from countries that have open donors. I was planning to select one from the US speembank, with photos, Med records and general background info.
I really don’t know what to do🤷♀️🥲 Do you know anything about Spanish laws in this area?
Moonflake · 11/12/2022 06:56
@whataboutya did your DH manage to transfer the material at the end? What paperwork did you have to show and how long did it take? It’s not exactly the same as my situation but there might be some guiding principles that I could use.
whataboutya · 11/12/2022 16:34
Sorry @Moonflake but I can't help you as he didn't go through with it in the end. He was persuaded not to by his doctors due to the nightmare paperwork and his treatment was pretty time sensitive.
It sounds like the clinic has got you over a barrel and it really doesn't sound fair ! I hope you get a good resolution and they stop holding your eggs hostage
Wanderingoff · 11/12/2022 20:11
Just popping in to gone massive sympathy but unfortunately no knowledgable help.
have you reviewed the terms and conditions you signed??
Zankiu · 11/12/2022 22:35
I was advised by a Spanish clinic that it would be very complicated to move embryos.
I wonder if your valid medical reason could be psychological rather than physical?
I think it's awful that they are putting up barriers to you moving your own genetic material. There are IVI clinics in the UK, I don't know if they would facilitate moving the eggs there, although I'm sure you probably wouldn't want to touch them with a barge pole now. They seem quite separate, IVI in the UK when we looked at them did not have all the techniques available in Spain, but you might not need those techniques.
tribpot · 11/12/2022 22:59
Is there a compromise where the eggs are moved to another EU country with a different donor policy?
DuchessofSandwich · 12/12/2022 06:48
It doesn't sound like the clinics fault here but the authorities. It IS a different country after all where they view things differently. The UK is a bit easier about some stuff than other countries. I live in the Netherlands and surrogacy with other eggs is almost impossible here due to the rules and regulations. Also, no c section on maternal request.
I think that pp has a good suggestion: move the eggs within the EU to a country where you can choose your own sperm. However, some countries do have laws about the childs right to know who the sperm donor was.
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