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Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART): Basic Concepts and Technological Advancements

On Behalf of | Sep 4, 2023 | Reproductive Law

What is Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)?

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) refers to a series of techniques that aid infertile patients in achieving pregnancy through surgical or other medical means. From acquiring eggs and sperms contributed by donators, facilitating surrogates to In Vitro Fertilization specialists, assessing various risks and benefits from each embryo transfers, to monitoring surrogates during pre-natal care after the embryo transfer has been completed, the list of this complex matter goes on! Beyond its medical significance, ART also extends and encompasses a spectrum of administrative, legal and ethical issues.

As the technologies and legal challenges evolves, so do the Assisted Reproductive Technology lawyers at Law Offices of Lei, APC.

Historical Background

In 1978, the world’s first “test-tube baby” was born in the UK through In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF). This breakthrough not only marked a new chapter in human reproduction but also introduced a series of novel legal challenges. Prior to this era, legal considerations around childbirth were relatively straightforward and almost non-existant; this meant it was uncomplicated. As the practice began to spread around the world, ART and our understanding of surrogates continues to evolve in practice and in laws.

With the introduction of ART into the modern era, issues such as reproductive rights, genetic rights, rights of embryos, and politics began to shape the practice and industry of surrogacy. This meant Intended Parents’ and couples had to navigate through unforeseen international and domestic legal hurdles regarding Gestational Surrogacy Contracts, medical costs, and potential complications surrounding the establishment of parentage began vary from state to state, and shore to shore.

At Law Offices of Lei, we are keen to catch different legal trends and work towards to the best and complete resolution for our clients and partners, No matter what the legal challenges are presented to us.

Technological Progress and Legal Responses

Over time, ART expanded to include technologies beyond just IVF, like egg freezing, sperm donation, and surrogacy. Each of these techniques brought its own unique set of legal inquiries from legal professionals from all parties.

For instance, egg freezing allows women to consider having children at a later age, but how does this impact legal provisions surrounding inheritance? With surrogacy, who is the legal parent of the child? What rights and obligations need to be defined in such scenarios?

As the technology advanced, many countries gradually formulated laws to govern ART practices. These laws address topics like the legality of surrogacy, the anonymity of donors, and the rights concerning frozen embryos.

Latest Technology: Genetic Screening

In recent years, with advancements in gene editing and genetic screening, ART is facing fresh challenges. Current technology not only aids infertile couples in conceiving but also offers choices like determining the gender of the child or avoiding genetic disorders. This undoubtedly brings about new legal questions: Do we have the right to choose the genes of an unborn child? Under what circumstances is genetic screening legally permissible?


The progress in Assisted Reproductive Technology has brought hope to millions of infertile couples. Simultaneously, it presents renewed challenges for the legal system. As technology continually evolves, the law must adjust and refine itself, ensuring every life is respected and protected.

At Law Offices of Lei, we have asssisted each end of the spectrum of challenges of this field of law, and we look forward to helping you every step along the way.