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The Netherlands
Region Europe
Population 16,408,557
GDP (millions USD) 768,704
National Policies
Eggs for assisted reproduction commercial prohibited
Eggs for research commercial prohibited
Inheritable genetic modification PROHIBITED
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis social uses prohibited
Reproductive cloning PROHIBITED
Research cloning PROHIBITED
Sex selection "social uses prohibited" is not in the list of possible values (?, PROHIBITED, regulated, Social uses prohibited, no policy) for this property.
Surrogacy commercial prohibited
International Agreements
1997 COE Biomedicine Convention signed
1998 COE Cloning Convention signed
2005 UN Cloning Vote no
2005 UNESCO Sports Doping Convention RATIFIED
2007 Treaty of Lisbon signed


Key laws and policies

Prohibited practices

The Embryos Act prohibits:

  • Reproductive cloning
  • Inheritable genetic modification
  • Social sex selection
  • Charging a fee for gametes or embryos above direct costs incurred
  • Allowing an embryo to develop outside the human body for longer than 14 days
  • Implanting a chimeric embryo into a human or animal, or allowing one to develop longer than 14 days

Permitted and regulated practices

Donation of embryos left over from fertility treatment for research is permitted under the 2002 Act. Such research "must be of medical importance. If there are alternative methods, they must be used."[2]

Commercial surrogacy is generally prohibited by the Commercial Surrogacy Act. More accurately, the professional mediation and arrangement of surrogacy is prohibited, as opposed to the actual act.[1]

PGD is only allowed if there is a high risk of a serious genetic disease, but there seems to be a tendency to allow testing for a more extensive range of diseases than in the past.[3]

Regulatory activities

All research programs must be approved by the Central Committee on Research involving Human Subjects (CCMO)."[2]


The creation of embryos for research was prohibited by the 2002 Act for a period of three to five years, "after which a decision will be taken on whether to lift the ban so that creating embryos for research purposes may be allowed subject to extremely strict conditions."[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Frans C. B. van Wijman and Guido M. W. R. de Gert, "Genetics and Artificial Procreation in the Netherlands," in Biomedicine, the Family and Human Rights, Marie Thérèse Meulders-Klein, Ruth Deech, Paul Vlaardingerbroek (Eds.) Springer (2002), pp. 288-289
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, "Embryo Act Documentation" (October 24, 2005)
  3. "Dutch MPs agree on embryo testing," Radio Netherlands / Expatica (July 4, 2008)