Pakistan’s first test tube baby was born almost 28 years ago, however it has taken the courts a long while to validated the procedure. The Federal Shariat Court (FSC) in a landmark decision, legalised the option of using the ‘test tube baby’ method for conceiving babies for those married couples who were unable to do so due to medical complications. The news will prove joyous for many families in the country, who wished to explore this option to conceive, but have not had access to this facility.

Those that have previously decried the medical procedure have done so because of the negative implications regarding the legality of the child. Hence the court declared that if “the sperm has been obtained from the father and the egg from the mother and the same has been fertilised in the test tube through medical process and the embryo is then placed in the womb of the actual mother, in that case the child would belong to the actual mother and father.” The child in such a case by all means would be legal and legitimate, and the court made it clear that any other condition, such as surrogacy, for obtaining a test tube baby would be considered un-Islamic as it would question the child’s legitimacy.

Infertility has become a growing health problem in Pakistan, as almost 15 to 20 percent of couples are suffering from this disorder. Experts believe that out of the infertile couples, 40 percent men, 30 percent women and the remaining 30 percent of both men and women have infertility issues. However, in most cases, women are victimised despite the infertility of their spouse. This medical procedure gives these families, and these women, the hope of a better future and the state must be applauded for taken the step to protect this future.