Single women in Vietnam will have access to artificial insemination under a new health ministry regulation that takes effect from March 15, 2019.
Vietnam conducted its first successful artificial insemination in 1998, but this medical procedure has until now been made available only to married couples who struggle to get fertilized.
That is about to change, according to a recent decree issued by the Vietnamese Ministry of Health.
In the decree signed on January 30 by deputy health minister Nguyen Viet Tien, hospitals in Vietnam will for the first time be legally authorized to offer artificial insemination to single female patients.
Taking effect from March 15, 2019, the decree will open doors for single women in Vietnam who wish to have children of their own without getting married.
Artificial insemination is the deliberate introduction of sperm to a female's egg cells for the purpose of achieving a pregnancy by means other than sexual intercourse.
Sperm used in artificial insemination of single women must be taken from a male donor, whose personal information is encrypted to ensure privacy and anonymity.
However, some traits of the donor, such as his race, build and appearance, must be made available to the recipient of the sperm.
A donor must be tested for any genetic or communicable diseases, including HIV infection, before his sperm can be used to fertilize the recipient’s ova.
Sperm from a donor can only be used for a single recipient and must not be attempted on a second recipient unless the first one fails to get fertilized from the procedure.
If the artificial insemination is successful, any remaining sperm of the donor must be destroyed or used for research purpose only.
Since the first successful artificial insemination in Vietnam in 1998, tens of thousands of babies have been born through this procedure in the country, according to health ministry statistics.