artificial insemination

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artificial insemination,

technique involving the artificial injection of sperm-containing semen from a male into a female to cause pregnancy. Artificial insemination is often used in animals to multiply the possible offspring of a prized animal and for the breeding of endangered species. Prepared semen can be preserved for long periods by refrigeration, and it is frequently shipped over great distances.

The method has also been used in humans, when traditional fertilization cannot be achieved (see infertilityinfertility,
inability to conceive or carry a child to delivery. The term is usually limited to situations where the couple has had intercourse regularly for one year without using birth control.
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). It has become a significant issue in recent years, particularly in debates revolving around surrogate motherhood, in which a woman agrees to bear a child for another couple through the use of artificially inseminated sperm from the husband (see surrogate mothersurrogate mother,
a woman who agrees, usually by contract and for a fee, to bear a child for a couple who are childless because the wife is infertile or physically incapable of carrying a developing fetus.
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). Legal issues have arisen in cases where the surrogate mother decides, upon the birth of the baby, that she wants to keep the child for herself. Likewise, there have been debates over the rights of sperm donors. Other debates on the subject have centered around the ethics of artificial insemination among humans, with critics decrying the practice as a perversion of science or pointing to the possible abuse of the process for purposes of eugenicseugenics
, study of human genetics and of methods to improve the inherited characteristics, physical and mental, of the human race. Efforts to improve the human race through bettering housing facilities and other environmental conditions are known as euthenics.
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. See also parent and childparent and child,
legal relationship, created by biological (birth) relationship or by adoption, that confers certain rights and duties on parent and child; in some states the courts have given the nonbiological, nonadoptive partner of a parent standing as a parent in a legal
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.

artificial insemination

[¦ärd·ə¦fish·əl in‚sem·ə′nā·shən]
(medicine)
A process by which spermatozoa are collected from males and deposited in female genitalia by instruments rather than by natural service.

artificial insemination

introduction of spermatozoa into the vagina or uterus by means other than sexual union