UK's new "win a baby" game draws fire

Thu Jul 7, 2011 9:09am EDT
 
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By Stefano Ambrogi

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - A controversial IVF lottery will launch in Britain this month giving prospective parents the chance to win thousands of pounds toward expensive fertility treatments in top clinics.

The scheme, which the media have dubbed "win a baby," has already run into trouble on ethical grounds with critics calling it inappropriate and demeaning to human reproduction.

Britain's Gambling Commission has granted a license to fertility charity, To Hatch, to run the game from July 30.

Every month, winners can scoop 25,000 pounds' ($40,175) worth of tailor-made treatments at one of the UK's top five fertility clinics for the price of a 20 pound ticket bought online. The tickets may eventually be sold in newsagents.

The lottery is open to single, gay and elderly players as well as heterosexual couples struggling to start a family.

If standard IVF fails, individuals can be offered reproductive surgery, donor eggs and sperm or a surrogate birth, the charity says, though the winner will only be able to choose one treatment.

Winners will be put up in a luxury hotel before being chauffeur-driven to a treatment center. They will also get a mobile phone and a personal assistant to help with queries.

Camille Strachan, founder and chair of the charity, who has had fertility treatment of her own, told Reuters she wanted to create the "ultimate wish list" for those struggling with the stress of being unable to conceive.   Continued...

 
<p>Doctor Katarzyna Koziol injects sperm directly into an egg during in-vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure called Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) at Novum clinic in Warsaw October 26, 2010. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel</p>