Key laws and policies
The main source of the legal norms on ART can be found in a specific chapter in the 1997 Health Care Act and in the Law CLXXXI of 2005; and various ministerial decrees. See Act on Health, Chapter IX, 20/2007, and by Ministerial Decree 30/1998.
(See http://net.jogtar.hu/jr/gen/hjegy_doc.cgi?docid=99800030.NM.) (Ministerial decrees update legislation in line with pan-European developments.)
The Human Reproductive Committee of the Health Science Council is responsible for licensing the services.
Reproductive cloning is prohibited by the Law on Public Health.
In addition, Hungary's ratification of the Council of Europe's Convention on Biomedicine and the Additional Protocol Regarding Human Cloning commits it to prohibitions on:
- PGD for social uses
- Research cloning
- Somatic genetic enhancement
- Inheritable genetic modification
Permitted and regulated practices
Access to Assisted Reproduction
- Married couples and heterosexual stable couples can have access to assisted reproduction. (They must prove relationship.)
- Single women can be treated in case of proven infertility.
- Lesbians can have access to assisted reproduction (as they are treated as single women).
- Women up to the age of 45 years can access assisted reproduction.
Embryo, Sperm, and Egg Donation
- The donation of sperm, eggs, and embryos is permitted and anonymous.
- Sperm donors must undergo a rigorous screening process.
- Sperm can be used up to a maximum of 4 live births.
- Sperm cannot be used after donor’s death.
- Egg donors must be under 35 and must have given birth to at least one healthy child.
- Egg donation from a relative is acceptable.
Embryo Transfer and Cryopreservation
- Transferring more than 4 embryos is not allowed.
- Embryos can be cryopreserved up to 10 years, but additional storage is allowed after certification of their conservation status and a written statement.
Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis
Sex selection is permitted in order to avoid an inheritable disease, while genetic pathways can only be selected for preventing or treating possible genetic illnesses. Social sex selection is not permitted.
- Human embryo research is allowed for surplus IVF embryos up to 14 days, whereas creation of in vitro embryos for research purpose and reproductive and therapeutic cloning is strictly prohibited.
- Originally it had been proposed that by a provision of the Act of CLIV of 1997 on Health that surrogacy was permitted in circumstances in which a relative gave birth to the child without accepting any payments. However the Constitutional Court with its decision 108/B/2000 declared this provision to be contrary to the Constitution and that provision never entered into force.
- Surrogacy is seen to give rise to serious criminal law concerns. (See Csongor Nagy, in Trimmings and Beaumont – Hungary.)
Note that although Hungary has a new Civil Code as of 15 March 2014, its content has not been significantly modified.
The 1997 Public Health Law was drafted after the text of the Council of Europe's Convention on Biomedicine became available and reflects some of its language.