Lok Sabha passes Bill to regulate assisted reproductive technology

What is the News?

Lok Sabha has passed the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, 2021.

What is Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, 2021?

Aim: To regulate and supervise assisted reproductive technology clinics and banks, prevent misuse of the technology and promote the ethical practice of the services.

Note: Assisted reproductive technology(ART) includes medical procedures used primarily to address infertility. Examples of ART services include gamete (sperm or oocyte) donation, in-vitro-fertilisation (fertilising an egg in the lab) and gestational surrogacy (the child is not biologically related to the surrogate mother).

What are the key provisions of the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, 2021?

Regulation of ART Clinics: The Bill provides for the establishment of the National Registry of Clinics and Banks, which will act as a central database for details of all the clinics and banks in the country. The Registry will grant registration to ART clinics which will be valid for five years and can be renewed for a further five years. Registration may be cancelled or suspended if the entity contravenes the provisions of the Bill. 

National and State Boards: The Bill also provides for the establishment of National and State Boards for Surrogacy for the regulation of ART services. The National Board shall advise the Central Government on policy matters relating to assisted reproductive technology.

Rules for ART service providers: ART procedures can only be carried out with the written informed consent of both the person seeking ART services as well as the gamete donor. 

Rights of a Child Born through ART: The Bill provides that the child born through assisted reproductive technology shall be deemed to be a biological child of the commissioning couple and the said child shall be entitled to all the rights and privileges available to a natural child only from the commissioning couple under any law for the time being in force.

Offences: Offences under the bill include clinics offering sex selection, abandoning or exploiting children born through ART, the selling, buying, or importing of human embryos and exploiting the couple or donors concerned in any form. Proposed jail terms for violations range from five to 12 years, and fines from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 25 lakh.

What are the issues with the Bill?

Firstly, the Bill doesn’t include lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender people (LGBTQ) or single men for exercising the right of ART. 

Secondly, the Government should consider supporting poor childless parents to take ART’s help.

Source: This post is based on the following articles:

  • Lok Sabha passes Bill to regulate assisted reproductive technologypublished in Indian Express on 2nd December, 2021.
  • “Bill to regulate IVF clinics passed in Lok Sabha” published in The Hindu on 2nd December, 2021.
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