Status Of Children Born Through Artificial Conception

Always revitalising and evolving


About the project

The Singapore Academy of Law’s Law Reform Committee examined the status of the parties to artificial conception procedures, particularly that of the child, with a view to clarifying their status with respect to each other. Among the Committee’s recommendations were the following:

  • The woman who is carrying or has carried a child in gestation should be regarded as the lawful mother of the child, unless the child is later adopted by some other person or persons.
  • A man should be conclusively presumed to be the father of a child born of artificial conception procedures if (1) the child is carried by and delivered of a woman who was his lawful wife at the time the artificial conception procedures were carried out, and (2) he had consented to the artificial conception procedures being carried out.
  • The donors of gametes should not in any circumstances be held to be the parents of a child conceived through artificial conception.
  • Regardless of how a child is conceived, if the husband of the gestational mother has, with full knowledge of the circumstances of the child’s conception, treats the child as a member of his family, he should be regarded as the lawful father of the child.
  • Consideration should be given to the need for further legislative provisions addressing important and fundamental issues such as whether medically assisted reproductive services may be extended to unmarried persons, anonymity of donors, whether the gametes of deceased donors should be used, and whether consent should always be obtained from both prospective parents and donors before procedures are carried out.

Project status: Completed

  • The report was published on 26 September 1997.
  • The report was considered by the Government and many of its recommendations implemented by Parliament in the Status of Children (Assisted Reproduction Technology) Act 2013 (No 16 of 2013; now Chapter 317A, 2015 Revised Edition) which was passed on 12 August 2013 and came into force on 1 October 2014.
  • The report has been cited in the following works:
    • Leong Wai Kum, “The Next Fifty Years of the Women’s Charter—Ripples of Change” [2011] Singapore Journal of Legal Studies [Sing J Legal Studies] 152 (archived here) at page 167, footnote 91.
    • Leong Wai Kum, “Parental Responsibility as the Core Principle in Legal Regulation of the Parent–Child Relationship” in Yeo Tiong Min, Hans Tjio & Tang Hang Wu, SAL Conference 2011: Developments in Singapore Law between 2006 and 2010: Trends and Perspectives (Singapore: Academy Publishing, 2011), 244 at page 260, paragraph 51, footnote 49.

Areas of law

 Family law


Click on the image above to view the report

Last updated 13 June 2019


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