Artificial Conception: Legal Issues Addressed during Artificial Insemination or In-vitro Fertilization

March 25, 2008

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With the amazing advancements in modern medicine and science, opportunities are now available for conceiving children through artificial insemination, in-vitro fertilization, and embryo transplantation. These new techniques, however, have created legal questions and disputes regarding the child's status and the rights and designation of the parents.

In-vitro Fertilization

In-vitro fertilization and egg transplantation involve the fertilization of the egg outside the womb. In the eyes of the law, when the egg is donated by another woman, the birth mother is treated as the legitimate mother of the child. When donated sperm is used to fertilize the egg, the laws governing artificial insemination come into play.

Artificial Insemination

In Massachusetts, when a married woman, with the consent of her husband, conceives a child by artificial insemination from an unknown donor (i.e., someone other than her husband), the law recognizes the child as the husband's legitimate child. It is fair to say that most states have adopted "presumption" laws, which presume that a child born to a married woman during the course of the marriage is the child of her husband. In a case involving artificial insemination, ...

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by: Julie A. Dialessi-Lafley, Esq.

Healthcare Ledger
February 2008

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