DMPQ-What is Assisted Reproductive Technology? Mention the important features of The Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Act, 2020.

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) procedures involve surgically removing eggs from a woman’s ovaries, combining them with sperm in the laboratory, and returning them to the woman’s body or donating them to another woman.  Assisted Reproductive Technology fertility treatments handle both a woman’s egg and a man’s sperm.  By definition, ART does not include treatments in which only sperm are handled or procedures in which a woman takes medicine only to stimulate egg production without the intention of having eggs retrieved.

The Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation)  Act, 2021 defines ART to include all techniques that seek to obtain a pregnancy by handling the sperm or the oocyte (immature egg cell) outside the human body and transferring the gamete or the embryo into the reproductive system of a woman.  Examples of ART services include gamete (sperm or oocyte) donation, in-vitro-fertilization (fertilizing an egg in the lab), and gestational surrogacy (the child is not biologically related to the surrogate mother).

The act provides that every ART clinic and the bank must be registered under ICMR’s National Registry of Banks and Clinics of India  The National Registry will be established under the act and will act as a central database with details of all ART clinics and banks in the country.

The State governments will appoint registration authorities for facilitating the registration process. The Clinics and banks will be registered only if they adhere to certain standards (specialized manpower, physical infrastructure, and diagnostic facilities).  The registration will be valid for five years and can be renewed for a further five years.  Registration may be canceled or suspended if the entity contravenes the provisions of the act.

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