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New laws proposed to deal with parentage and status of IVF babies

Published on Nov 19, 2012 6:04 PM
 
A newborn baby in a hospital. The Government is proposing new laws to deal with parentage and status issues of children conceived through assisted reproduction technology, chief of which is in-vitro fertilisation (IVF). --ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

The Government is proposing new laws to deal with parentage and status issues of children conceived through assisted reproduction technology, chief of which is in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).

Under the proposal, the mother who gave birth to the child will be treated as the child's mother. No one else - such as the egg donor - can claim to be the mother.

If the child was brought about with the sperm of her husband, he will be treated as the father.

If the woman underwent the procedure but her husband's sperm was not used, he will also be treated in law as the father, unless he can show that he did not consent to her undergoing the procedure.

If he did not consent to the procedure but treats the child as a child of the marriage, he, too, will be treated in law as the father.

Where the wrong sperm or egg is used, the ministry is proposing that the birth mother and her husband be the default parents.

But the other party whose sperm or egg was used by mistake can apply to the court for parental rights within two years of the mistake being discovered. The court will consider, among other factors, the best interests of the child in making its decision.