Malta: IVF bill 'not discriminatory' - minister
The proposed bill on IVF did not discriminate against gay couples but prohibited egg and sperm donation for all couples, according to Justice Minister Chris Said.
He was speaking this afternoon during a visit to the National Council of Women.
Asked whether gay couples would be able to adopt a frozen embryo (the law permits embryo freezing in cases of force majeur), the minister said it would be up to the authority to determine who can adopt but it still had to function within the parameters of the law which spoke of heterosexual couples.
“The government’s interest is for children born out of IVF to be brought up in a family with a mother and a father. We feel this is better for the children,” he said.
The Malta Gay Rights Movement Association yesterday said in a statement that limiting IVF treatment to married and heterosexual couples is “blatantly discriminatory” on the basis of sexual orientation and is “inherently homophobic in nature”,
One of the concerns raised by the National Council of Women is that the law speaks of married couples and couples in a stable relationship without defining what a stable relationship is.
The minister said that the authority, which the law was setting up, would define what a stable relationship is but it also set parameters.
He said the bill was offering couples a bigger opportunity than what was currently available on the market.
However, the principles of the law, primarily the protection of the embryo, were not negotiable. The bill would, however, be improved.