Japan Diet OKs Rule to Clarify Parenthood in Fertility Treatment


Tokyo, Dec. 5 (Jiji Press)--The Diet, Japan's parliament, has endorsed a special rule under the Civil Code to clarify legal parent-child relationships for children born through fertility treatment, such as with egg or sperm donation.

The special rule was approved by a majority vote at a plenary meeting of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, on Friday with support from parties excluding the Japanese Communist Party. It cleared the House of Councillors, the upper chamber, last month.

Under the special rule, a woman who gives birth to a child using a donated egg is recognized as the legal mother. A husband who consents to his wife giving birth with sperm donated by another man is acknowledged as the legal father.

"We've laid the foundation for starting debates on next issues by legally stabilizing parent-child relationships through the approval of the Civil Code special rule," Seiko Noda, active secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, told reporters after the Diet authorization of the rule. Noda has given birth to a child with an egg from another woman.

An additional clause to the special rule stipulates that issues, including the right of children to know the origin of their birth and regulations for surrogate births, should be discussed over around two years and necessary legal measures should be taken.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press