Fertility-related laws that the average Singaporean might not know about
Singapore is known for its many laws and regulations that dictate what its citizens can or cannot do. But while the average Singaporean might know that they’re not supposed to sell chewing gum, consume drugs, or drink in public after 10.30pm, they might be less familiar with the various fertility-related laws in Singapore. In this article, we walk you through 5 fertility-related laws in Singapore that you’re probably unaware of!
Freezing your eggs
We hear about celebrities freezing their eggs all the time – so it might come as a shock that egg freezing in Singapore is NOT an option, unless you have a medical condition that justifies it.
In other words: say you’re a cancer patient (touch wood!) who’s about to undergo chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment. This is likely to damage your eggs, so under these circumstances, you’ll be able to freeze your eggs so that you can have kids further down the road.
What if you want to freeze your eggs, simply because you want to enjoy your youth and have kids only later in life? This is termed social egg freezing, and it’s unfortunately not allowed in Singapore.
Undergoing IVF and other fertility treatments
This one’s fairly straightforward: in Singapore, only married women are allowed to undergo IVF. Women who are single are strictly not eligible for IVF; the same applies for other fertility treatments.
Using donor sperm to get pregnant
Couples in Singapore are allowed to use donor sperm to get pregnant – assuming the male partner has problems with his sperm.
Do note that there are certain guidelines to follow; for instance, if you’re purchasing donor sperm from overseas, you may only approach MOH-approved sperm banks. To learn more about using donor sperm to get pregnant, read: Looking for a sperm donor in Singapore: what you need to know.
If you’re a single woman hoping to get pregnant using donor sperm, again, this is not allowed in Singapore. Only couples may use donor sperm to get pregnant.
Using a donor egg to get pregnant
Thinking of using a donor egg to get pregnant? Singapore law states that egg donors cannot be paid for their contribution, so you’ll have to find someone who’s willing to donate their egg to you purely out of goodwill.
That said, you may pay for the cost of reasonable expenses incurred during the egg donation process (eg transportation costs).
Using a surrogate to carry a child
When a woman enlists the help of a surrogate, she’s essentially having another woman carry her child to term.
Now, the provision of surrogacy services is illegal in Singapore, and according to the MOH, fertility clinics and hospitals in Singapore who are found to perform surrogacy services can have their licenses suspended or revoked.
That said, it’s possible for a couple to engage a surrogacy service overseas, bring a child back to Singapore, and then legally adopt that child. However, note that this is a tedious and long drawn out process. To date, there are only 10 cases or so of married couples successfully adopting their surrogate children in Singapore.