Artificial Insemination 'Not Illegal for Single Women'

  • By Jung Seok-woo

    November 19, 2020 11:47

    The Ministry of Health and Welfare on Wednesday insisted that it is not illegal in Korea for single women to become pregnant through artificial insemination.

    The clarification was prompted by TV personality Sayuri Fujita who revealed that she had a baby from a Japanese sperm donor and media reports saying sperm donations are banned for single women in Korea.

    The ministry said only a married woman who wants a sperm donation needs permission from her husband, who might otherwise unwittingly bring up a child that is not his own.

    In other words, single women in Korea can become pregnant from donor eggs or sperm as long as no laws are broken that ban financial incentives or favors for donors.

    Fujita had claimed in interviews that she only got her sperm donation and artificial insemination in Japan because that would be illegal for an unmarried woman here.

    But aside from legal issues, sperm donation can be a difficult process here. The Korean Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2011 created a set of ethics governing artificial insemination and said the procedure "in principle" should be administered to legally married couples. And while the law does not explicitly ban unmarried women from obtaining donor sperm, it does not protect their right to do so either, so clinics may well refuse.

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