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      Fertility News: Boost to IVF, Egg Donation, Thai Surrogacy Out

      IVF treatment to be provided faster, but limited for over-42s. Foreign Ministry warns against Thai surrogacy.
      By Maayana Miskin
      First Publish: 1/22/2014, 12:14 AM

      Baby  on day of circumcision
      Baby  on day of circumcision
      Israel news photo: Flash 90

      The Health Ministry has adopted recommendations made by the National Council of Midwives and Gynecologists regarding IVF treatment for infertility, Maariv/nrg reports.

      The new guidelines will mean that women aged 39-42 can begin government-funded IVF treatment more quickly. However, the guidelines also call to limit IVF treatment for women over the age of 42.

      The Council of Midwives and Gynecologists has advised that limiting government-funded IVF for women over age 42 could actually increase their chances of pregnancy, by freeing up funding for egg donation – a treatment option which doctors say has a higher chance of success for that age group than IVF alone.

      Under the new guidelines, if a woman over the age of 42 has undergone IVF treatment four times with no results, or has undergone treatment eight times without a clinical pregnancy, a team of medical personnel may decide not to fund further IVF treatment. 

      At the same time, women over the age of 39 will be able to undergo state-funded IVF treatments more quickly. Previously, women suffering infertility were not eligible for IVF treatment before attempting other forms of treatment such as hormone pills; now, women age 39 or older will be able to begin IVF as soon as they are diagnosed with infertility.

      The maximum age for government-funded IVF treatment, for women, remains 45.

      Foreign Ministry warns: babies born in Thailand are Thai citizens
      The Foreign Ministry has issued a warning to Israelis not to seek surrogacy service in Thailand. The issue of babies born to Thai surrogates made the news this week with the discovery that dozens of homosexual Israeli couples had paid Thai surrogates to birth babies for them – but were unable to bring the babies to Israel.

      Gay activists in Israel have largely blamed the Interior Ministry for not giving the babies citizenship. However, the Foreign Ministry warned that Thai law was the issue. 

      “In order to solve the difficulties created for babies born in Thailand to Israelis in the surrogacy process, Israel’s embassy in Thailand has been in contact with authorities in that country for some time… The fact is, under Thai law, these babies are Thai citizens in every sense,” the ministry said in a statement.

      The official Thai position “is that Thai mothers, who birthed the babies, have full parental rights to those babies, including the right to custody,” ministry officials explained.

      “It seems that the groups that facilitate the surrogacy process created a process without fully investigating local law first,” they added.

      Israelis who have fathered children with Thai surrogate mothers may bring the children to Israel, the ministry clarified – but first, they must present agreement from the mother to the child’s permanent removal from Thailand to Israel with the father. 

      Those who obtain the mother’s consent will be given an Israeli passport for their child. However, ministry staff noted, the Israeli passport does not mean that Thai authorities have agreed to allow the child to be taken from the country.

      The Foreign Ministry statement concluded, “The State of Israel will not be able to continue to assist parents to children born in Thailand through surrogacy beginning on November 30, 2014, and reiterates its warning to Israelis not to seek surrogacy services in Thailand due to authorities’ stance in this country.”