Mumbai: Court allows woman to have baby with estranged husband
The court directed the couple to seek consultation with a marriage counsellor and fix a meeting with an IVF expert within a month
In a rare plea before a family court, a 35-year-old woman caught in a divorce sought a second child with her estranged husband. She pleaded for conception through the restoration of conjugal relations or in-vitro fertilisation before her biological clock times out.
The court in the order, cited international treaties and laws on personal autonomy and reproductive health to back her "reproductive rights" as being the "basic civil rights of a human being". The court directed the couple to seek for consultation with a marriage counsellor and fix a meeting with an IVF expert within a month.
Meanwhile, the husband opposed the plea as being illegal and against social norms. Holding the woman's request for her husband to donate his sperms for artificial insemination as a "legitimate, eugenic choice of hers" the court directed the couple to an assisted reproductive technology (ART) expert.
According to the Times of India, the court backs woman’s plea, sends the couple to ART expert. The estranged couple has been directed to go for "clinical consultation about the prospect and success of the (ART) procedure in their case". "A key aspect of personal autonomy are reproductive rights, which entail rights to make sexual and reproductive decisions," the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development had stated in its steering 1984 document.
The couple, both professionals, have a minor child. The husband, who is based in Mumbai, had filed for divorce alleging cruelty by her in 2017 and the woman approached a court in Nanded for restitution. But while both petitions were pending, the woman also approached the Nanded family court in 2018 with a plea to have another child with him. Her plea stated that since she is 35, her fertile years are limited and she wants a second child as a sibling to her first and support her in her old age.
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