ART ACT 2021 Syllabus GS Paper 2 – Social Issues)

News-CRUX-10     5th January 2024        

Context: The Union Health Ministry has sought data from all States and Union Territories on the total number of single women (divorcees/widows) and unmarried women who have successfully used Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) in order to assess the functioning of the ART Act, 2021.

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Act 2021

  • About: ART encompasses all techniques employed to achieve pregnancy by manipulating sperm or egg cells outside the human body, followed by the transfer of the embryo into the woman's reproductive tract.
  • Techniques: These techniques include sperm donation, in-vitro-fertilization (IVF) conducted in a laboratory, and gestational surrogacy, where the child is not biologically related to the surrogate.
  • Key Provisions 
  • Registration of ART Clinics & Banks: Every ART clinic and bank must register under the National Registry of Banks and Clinics of India, maintaining a centralized database.
  • Registration Valid: Five years and can be renewed for an additional five years, subject to compliance.
  • Conditions for Sperm Donation: Registered ART banks can screen, collect, and store semen from men aged 21 to 55 and eggs from women aged 23 to 35.
  • Female donors must be married with at least one child aged at least three.
  • A child born through ART is legally recognized as the couple's biological child, with the donor relinquishing parental rights.
  • Consent and Insurance Requirements: Written informed consent from both the couple and the donor is mandatory for ART procedures.

oCouples must provide insurance coverage for the female donor against loss, damage, or death.

  • Regulation of ART Processes: The National and State Boards formed under the Surrogacy Act 2021 are tasked with regulating ART services.
  • Offences: Offences include abandoning or exploiting children born through ART, sale or trade of embryos, exploitation of couples or donors, and inappropriate embryo transfers.
  • Penalties: It range from imprisonment of 8 to 12 years and fines of Rs 10 to 20 lakhs.

oProhibition of sex-selective ART advertising with penalties of imprisonment for 5 to 10 years and fines of Rs 10 to 25 lakhs.