Infertility may be caused due to many factors, including problems with egg or sperm production, genetic factors, age, exposure to chemicals and toxins, etc. Statistics show that infertility has skyrocketed in the past few years, thereby making it difficult for couples to conceive naturally. This has led to an increase in the need for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART), one of which is Artificial Insemination (AI). Artificial Insemination is the deliberate introduction of sperm into a woman’s cervix to attain pregnancy by means other than sexual intercourse. There are different types of AI. Internationally it can be seen that different countries have enacted various legislations guiding the technique of AI and laying down the rights and duties of the couple, the donor, and the doctor assisting the procedure.
Many issues arise due to AI, the prominent ones being the determination of the legitimacy of the child, rights of the child, consent of the parties to the procedure, payment of fees to the donor, and the like. In India, the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Act of 2021 lays down blanket legislation for the regulation and supervision of ART clinics, banks etc.; however, it does not specify the requirements for each type of ART method. Feminist principles, which claim that a person alone can parent a child, and the act of the Supreme Court legalising homosexuality have only added to the complications which may arise. There are various societal and religious restrictions as well when it comes to procreation through any means other than natural procreation.
Reproductive rights have been recognised as fundamental rights under the Constitution of India. However, not many can avail of these rights due to exclusion from the present legal framework. There is a need to regulate not only the parties involved in the process but also the Medical Institutions providing AI to prevent it from becoming a profession or a commercialised business done for profit. This paper emphasises the various hurdles that AI poses and the need for a Statute regulating the same. Suggestions for a conclusive and definite enactment have also been discussed in the paper.