Posted at 11:27 AM ET, 07/06/2011

To Hatch, IVF charity in Britain, raffles off chance to have a baby


A new lottery offers the chance to create a baby. (David Cook/blueshiftstudios )
Games of chance give lucky people the opportunity to win almost anything, from a goldfish at a carnival to millions of dollars. Now a charity in Britain is giving one couple the chance to have a baby.

To Hatch, a charity that offers fertility treatment advice, will sell £20 raffle tickets to couples who want a chance to win £25,000 worth of in vitro fertilization treatments. This controversial lottery, set to launch July 30, has been received with some criticism.

Anyone can enter to the contest and can give the prize to someone else if they win, according to the Telegraph.. If IVF treatments fails, then the charity will offer a surrogate, donor eggs or surgery.

To Hatch founder Camille Strachan said the lottery comes at a time when the National Health Service, Britain’s publicly funded health care system, has undergone budget cuts: “We hope the To Hatch Lottery can ease the burden on the NHS and reduce the stress slightly on some of those who are struggling.”

Josephine Quintavalle, director of the Comment on Reproductive Ethics, told the Telegraph the lottery “demeans the whole nature of human reproduction.” She also questioned the legality of the practice to Sky News.

“This latest initiative, turning the process of reproduction into a buy-your-ticket lottery, is absolutely unacceptable and quite possibly breaks European Law on the commercialization of human tissue,” she said. “It is in this area where an immediate investigation should be demanded. It is surely not legal to pay £20 to have access to another woman’s womb?”

The charity’s Web site was down Wednesday shortly after the announcement went viral. A message on the site read, “To Hatch is currently offline for site-wide maintenance, it will be up and running shortly.” It was later changed to, “Due to overwhelming demand the To Hatch website is currently offline for site-wide maintenance. It will be back up and running as soon as possible.”

By  |  11:27 AM ET, 07/06/2011

 
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