Social Issues

Japan parents using donated eggs, sperm get legal recognition

Tokyo, Dec 4 (efe-epa).- Japanese parliament on Friday approved a law that recognizes married couples as legal parents of their children born with the help of assisted reproduction using donated eggs or sperm.

The new regulation, added as a special provision to the country’s civil code, was approved with the support of both the ruling coalition and the opposition, according to the state-run Kyodo news agency.

The reform, which had been under study since 2013, will take effect a year after its promulgation.

The rules for the legal recognition of parents under Japan’s current civil law are more than 100 years old.

However, there was no provision for those giving birth to kids by artificial or in vitro insemination using donor reproductive-cells.

Japan had long debated how to eliminate legal uncertainties about the parentage of children born with the help of assisted reproduction technologies.

The new law stipulates that a woman who gives birth using donor eggs is legally the mother of the baby and not the donor.

Likewise, the provision states that the husband who consents to his wife to give birth using donor sperm may not deny that he is the legal father of the child.

The regulation, however, does not give children the right to seek the identity of the egg or sperm donors, which has generated criticism from groups representing them.

The new legislation does not cover other issues, such as the purchase and sale of eggs and sperm or surrogacy, for which the parliament will consider legal measures separately. EFE-EPA


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