Kerala HC: State is bound to take measures to protect ‘Right to Privacy’ of single mothers conceiving through Assisted Reproductive Technologies

The Petitioner was a single woman, who had conceived through assisted reproductive technologies.(ART)

As per the Kerala Registration of Births and Deaths Rules, 1970, while registering the birth or death, the name of the father is a mandatory field.

The petitioner challenged the rules and stated that leaving the father’s name blank in the forms and the certificate would infringe the privacy of the child as well as the privacy of the petitioner.

The Bench of the Kerala High Court consisting of Justice Satish Ninan, agreed with the petitioner.

The Bench stated that the right of a woman to make reproductive choices is a fundamental right. Recognising the right to privacy, the Bench agreed that there was no necessity to have the similar forms for registration of births.

The Bench also stated that since single woman can undergo ART procedures, the State is bound to create separate forms for registration of births through assisted technology procedures.

The Bench directed the State to immediately create separate forms for registration of births through Assisted Reproductive Technologies.

The Bench further stated that in order to prevent misuse of these forms, the applicants would have to submit an affidavit and medical reports to support the claims.

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