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Asking Father’s Details For Certificates Of Children Born Via IVF To Single Women Affects their Dignity: Kerala HC

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IVF Kids Father Details: The Kerala High Court said that when single mothers are required to furnish details of the father of their baby conceived through Assisted Reproductive Technologies such as IVF, it not only affects the mother’s right to dignity but also the child’s.

The court gave its ruling while hearing a plea filed by a divorced woman who had conceived her through IVF. The woman challenged the Kerala Registration of Births and Deaths Rules, 1970, which requires the father’s details. She told the court that she cannot furnish the details of the sperm donor as their identity is kept anonymous. The woman also said that the administrative requirement intrudes upon her right to liberty, privacy and dignity.

The High Court in its ruling also directed that the Kerala state should provide more appropriate forms for registration of births and deaths of children born through such procedures.

IVF Kids Father Details In Birth/ Death Certificates:

The court said, “The right of a single parent/ unwed mother to conceive by ART having been recognised, prescriptions of forms requiring mentioning of name of father, the details of which is to be kept anonymous, is violative of their fundamental rights of privacy, liberty and dignity.”

The court agreed with the woman’s claims and ruled that Assisted Reproductive Technologies are recognised and accepted in the country and the identity of the sperm donor cannot be revealed unless compelled under law. As per the Kerala High Court, the provision of not revealing the donor’s identity is already mentioned in the ART clinics guidelines.

“Under the circumstances, there is no rhyme or reason in requiring the petitioner to provide the name of the father in the form prescribed for registration of birth and death,” the court said.

As per the petitioner, the birth/death certificates issued by the state come with an empty column where the father’s details were to be mentioned. As per the High Court, this affects the right of the dignity of the mother as well as her child.

The court also added, “the State has to provide appropriate forms for registration of births and deaths of children born through such procedures, and for issuance of birth/death certificates”.

The petitioner is currently in the eighth month of her pregnancy, hence the high court directed the state to immediately take steps in the matter. Since the change in forms can be misused by people, the court suggested that the applicants can be asked to provide an affidavit proving that they are single parent/ unwed mothers. The affidavits can mention that the child was conceived through ART procedure along with the medical record.

The Kerala High Court ruled, “By the passage of time, evolution of techniques, change in lifestyle and personal choices recognized by the Rule of Law, appropriate modifications/ changes/ additions/alterations need to be made in statutes, rules and the forms prescribed thereunder.”