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Parliamentary panel says ART not appropriate for live-in or same sex couples

The Committee in its report added that keeping the best interest of the child born through ART services and other parentage issues in case of their separation, it would not be appropriate to allow live-in couples and same sex couples to avail the facility of ART.  

Given the Indian family structure, social milieu and norms, it will not be very easy to accept a child whose parents are together but not legally married, noted the 129-page report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare, on the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) (Regulation) Bill, 2020, submitted in Parliament earlier this week.

The Committee in its report added that keeping the best interest of the child born through ART services and other parentage issues in case of their separation, it would not be appropriate to allow live-in couples and same sex couples to avail the facility of ART.

“The rights of people in same sex relationship and live-in relationships frequently keep getting redefined, however, the ART Bill endorsed the recommendations of Select Committee on Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2019, wherein the definition of “couple” has been retained and live-in couples and same sex couples have been excluded from availing surrogacy services,” the Committee said in its report.

In its observation, the Committee expressed its anguish to find that at present there are only six IVF (in vitro fertilisation) clinics in the government sector, namely the All India Institute of Medical Sciences; Lady Hardinge Hospital; Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh; King George’s Medical University, Lucknow; Army Hospitals in Delhi and Pune, while the remaining thousands of IVF centres were in the private sector.

“The Committee, therefore, recommends that the Government should ensure that each medical college or premier Government Hospital/ Institute must have IVF/ART facilities so as to enable the common poor masses to avail the services of ART,” it said.

Stating the India had become one of the major centres for ART, the Committee noted that “there are only guidelines of ART, and no law still exists.’’

Currently clinics in India offer nearly all the ART services — gamete donation, intrauterine insemination (IUI), in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT), and gestational surrogacy.

The Committee in its report has suggested that legislation on ART services is the need of the hour to oversee and ensure that practices like the commercialisation of gametes, foetal reduction, multiple implantations by the rich, and sex-selection, are prohibited.

It adds that ART services must be guided by a humane approach and not in the fashion of an industry outlook.

“A monitoring mechanism under the overall guidance of the National Board has to be set up to prohibit unbridled commercialization of the ART services,” noted the Committee.


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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 10:37:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/parliamentary-panel-says-art-not-appropriate-for-live-in-or-same-sex-couples/article34119549.ece

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