In a landmark judgment, Kerala High Court noted that requirement to furnish father’s name to register the birth or death of children conceived through the Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART), like IVF violates the fundamental right of privacy, liberty, and dignity of the single mother as well as of the child.
The court has also directed the respondent authorities to take immediate measures to provide separate forms for the birth and death of children who are born through such artificial procedures.
“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,” observed Justice Sathish Ninan.
The single-judge bench further noted, “Suffice to notice that, the rights of a single woman to conceive through ART procedure is recognized and accepted in the country. Having conceived through ART procedure, the identity of the sperm donor cannot be disclosed except in circumstances as may be compelled for, under law. It falls within the realm of the right of privacy.”
The High Court was hearing a petition filed by a woman in her 8th month of pregnancy challenging the requirement to mention father’s name under Kerala Registration of Births and Deaths Rules, 1970. She had conceived through IVF.
Citing the fact that right of a single mother/unwed mother to conceive through ART procedure is recognised in India, the court directed th eState to make appropriate changes in the registration forms for birth and death certificates for the children born through such procedures.
The applicants can be asked to furnish an affidavit that she is a single parent/unwed mother conceived through ART procedure and produce along with the same a copy of the medical record in support thereof to prevent the misuse of such forms in settling scores in ‘family feuds’.