Can Singles and Couples Use Third-party Donors in IVF Procedure?

Can Singles and Couples Use Third-party Donors in IVF Procedure?
Can Singles and Couples Use Third-party Donors in IVF Procedure?

Can Singles and Couples Use Third-party Donors in IVF Procedure?


The Calcutta High Court (HC) recently stated that donated sperm or oocytes for in-vitro fertilization (IVF) do not have to come from the couple who opt for artificial pregnancy.

A couple who lost their teenage daughter at an early stage and opted for IVF filed a case before a single bench Judge Sabyasachi Bhattacharya. Their request was duly observed and accepted by the HC.

What are the Restrictions?

The HC mentioned certain restrictions concerning the Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Act, of 2021. Justice Bhattacharya declared that the husband, who was 59 years old, was too old to undergo IVF. But his 46-year-old wife qualified for the IVF procedure.

Is There Any Distinguishment Between Singles and Married People In IVF?

Judge Bhattacharya stated that there is no distinction between single and married women. He further stated that there is no difference mentioned in Section 21(g) between a woman who is one of the commissioning couple’s spouses during a clinic visit for this reason.

This kind of differentiation is not implemented in the current case, because the Act clearly does not distinguish between single or married women.

In the current case, for instance, the husband who is petition no. 1 was declared ineligible for the IVF process, by the court, because he is too old for it. But petitioner no. 2, his wife is qualified for assisted reproduction in the IVF procedure.

Court Observations:

According to the HC, the petitioners want to utilize the sperm of a third-party donor, which prevents petitioner no. 1 from physically obtaining services in assisted reproductive technology services. As a result, the bar under Section 21(g)(ii) is completely irrelevant in this case.

Hence, the HC accepted their case where petitioners wanted to use sperms of a third-party donor. The couple is not able to conceive naturally, hence the court allowed to seek this IVF procedure.

Court’s Declarations:

The court declared that getting sperm or oocytes outside the human body can result in pregnancy and it is legal. There is no limitation that it must come from either of the couples. The court granted the couple’s request for IVF.

If the spouse is open to accepting donor gametes, other than her husband, then they can further pursue IVF treatments. This case has been remarkable in the events when husbands are unable to donate sperm during the IVF process.

Important Laws Governing IVF:

  • Section 15(1) of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021, established the National Board of National Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy Board, which oversees the Assisted Reproductive Technology Act.
  • The main objective of the Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Act, 2021 (ART, 2021) is to make assisted conception procedure and reproduction legal.
  • The Act is used to freeze gametes and eggs for future use or to become parents.
  • Assisted Reproductive Technology Clinics handle reproductive procedures that are assisted properly.
  • A kid born under this Act shall receive the same treatment as a child born outside of it.
  • The commissioned couple, will be parents of this child, and not the one who donated the sperm.
  • The act excludes divorced, widowed men, unmarried men, unmarried yet cohabitating heterosexual couples, homosexual couples, and transgender persons.
  • This Act further states that to pursue IVF one must be 21 to 50 years of age.
  • It has also been mentioned that people with medical conditions or infertility can use this procedure to become parents.
  • The provided gametes are also utilised for research and development.
  • These clinics have all necessary equipment and facilities, that are approved by National Medical Commission.
  • A commissioned couple is a couple that contacts the Assisted Reproductive Technology Clinic to pursue IVF for childbirth.




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