Reproduction laws to be reviewed

Staff writer, with CNA

Fri, Mar 09, 2018 - Page 3

The Health Promotion Administration yesterday said that it might consider relaxing the Artificial Reproduction Act (人工生殖法) following Wednesday’s news that a 62-year-old woman gave birth to a boy late last month.

The woman, surnamed Wu (吳), decided to have the baby after she retired, making her the oldest woman to give birth in Taiwan.

However, many questioned how Wu, who has already passed menopause, could qualify for artificial insemination, given that the law stipulates only couples in which one partner is diagnosed with infertility or a dangerous hereditary disease are entitled to the treatment.

Whether post-menopausal women should be viewed as infertile has become a topic of debate.

“As the case has triggered concerns that it might have violated the law, we will study the legality of the case and review the law to see whether it is too strict,” agency Director-General Wang Ying-wei (王英偉) said.

“With advances in technology, there are increasing numbers of older mothers,” Wang said. “A review is needed to see whether the law should be amended to catch up with the changing times.”

“Although many contentious issues related to child-rearing and ethical issues could arise when older mothers give birth, there are also voices supporting them in society,” Wang said. “The case of this 62-year-old woman provides an opportunity to review existing laws governing artificial reproduction.”

After consulting experts in the field, the agency would call a meeting to discuss whether rules should be relaxed, Wang said, adding that the discussions would focus on how to best protect the interests of newborns.