Woman takes on SA surrogacy laws in desperate bid to become a mom

By admin
05 March 2016

She's yearning to be a mom. Having tried in vain to fall pregnant for 10 years, a South African woman has approached the constitutional court to change a legal provision which prevents her from realising her dream with the help of a surrogate mother.

She's yearning to be a mom.

Having tried in vain to fall pregnant for 10 years, a South African woman has approached the constitutional court to change a legal provision which prevents her from realising her dream with the help of a surrogate mother.

Section 294 of the Children’s Act requires that one of the gametes – reproduction cells like eggs or sperm – needs to come from the parents of the baby to whom the surrogate will give birth. This makes it impossible for individuals or couples who struggle with infertility to become parents with the help of surrogates.

After she’d had 18 unsuccessful in vitro treatments with the eggs and sperm of anonyThe woman who has now turned to the constitutional court to change the law is divorced and may not be identified in terms of a court order.mous donors, the woman’s gynaecologist told her she’d never have a successful pregnancy. She then decided to acquire the services of a surrogate to have a baby conceived with donor gametes.

The legal clause that prohibits this was ruled invalid and in violation of the constitution in the high court in Pretoria last year. But the department of social development has appealed the ruling and the woman is now asking the constitutional court to ratify the high court decision.

“It [the requirement of a genetic link between the baby and at least one of the parents] is an infringement of human dignity, and the right to dignity also includes a right to life,” senior counsel Donrich Jordaan argued in the constitutional court.

The Times report that Nelly Cassim, representing the department, reiterated that there must be a genetic link for surrogacy to be valid. If this provision was scrapped it would defeat the purpose of surrogacy. “A genetic link is crucial,” she said according to the newspaper.

Sources: The Times, The Star

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