Legalities of Egg Donation in South Africa
Laws have been put in place to regulate egg donation and protect egg donors and recipients. South Africa is one of the leaders in egg donation and the regulatory environment is the foundation of the whole egg donation process.
The egg donation legislature applies to all parties involved, egg donation agencies, egg donor clinics, egg donors and recipients. These laws protect the emotional, physical and financial well-being of all involved and ensures that each party fully understands their rights and roles.
Egg Donation Legislature of South Africa
Egg Donation is governed under the National Health Act of 2003, primarily Chapter 8 with respect to the control of blood, blood products, or gametes (donor eggs and donor sperm) from living persons.
· Egg Donors Donation - This specifies that egg donors may not sell their donor eggs. A reasonable donation has been established to reimburse donors for the costs associated with egg donations.
· Egg Donation Agency - An egg recipient recruits a donor agency to facilitate the egg donation program and coordinate with a specific egg donor based on their profile. The processes and undertakings of baby2mom Egg Donation Agency are in full compliance with the necessary South African legislation that governs egg donation. Fees paid to the egg donation agency are for delivery of services to the egg donation recipient. Egg donors are not employees of an egg donation agency, so there is no ownership of these ladies.
The existence of an egg donor agency serves to protect people offering help as egg donors and those requiring egg donation services. The controls implemented through an egg donation agency ensure that the egg donor program is in accordance with legislation and prevents eggs from being sold or egg trafficking.
baby2mom is an egg donation agency.
Showing of Adult Pictures and Anonymity of Egg Donors
Chapter 5 of the Human Tissue Act 65 of 1983, section 33 in particular, deals with the prohibition of certain facts. S 33(1)(c) states that no person shall publish to any other person any fact whereby the identity of a living person from whose body any gametes have been removed or withdrawn, may possibly be established, unless consent was granted thereto in writing.
South African legislation requires that the identity of egg donors not be disclosed. The South African Reproductive Council supports egg donor anonymity and confidentiality, only childhood pictures of egg donors may be shown. No meeting can take place between egg donation recipient and egg donor. baby2mom Egg Donation Agency renders professional and ethical services, so we are bound to comply with this legislation and supporting guidelines:
National Health Act, 2003 (Act No. 61 of 2003)
Chapter 8: Control of use of blood, blood products, tissue and gametes in humans
55. Removal of tissue, blood, blood products or gametes from living persons
1) A person may not remove tissue, blood, a blood product or gametes from the body of another living person for the purpose referred to in section 56 unless it is done:
a) with the written consent of the person from whom the tissue, blood, blood product or gametes are removed granted in the prescribed manner; and
b) in accordance with prescribed conditions.
56. Use of tissue, blood, blood products or gametes removed or withdrawn from living persons
1) A person may use tissue or gametes removed or blood or a blood product withdrawn from a living person only for such medical or dental purposes as may be prescribed.
a) Subject to paragraph (b), the following tissue, blood, blood products or gametes may not be removed or withdrawn from a living person for any purpose contemplated in subsection 1)
i. Tissue, blood, a blood product or a gamete from a person who is mentally ill within the meaning of the Mental Health Care Act, 2002 (Act No. 17 of 2002);
ii. tissue which is not replaceable by natural processes from a person younger than 18 years:
iii. a gamete from a person younger than 18 years; or
iv. placenta, embryonic or foetal tissue, stem cells and umbilical cord, excluding umbilical cord progenitor cells.
b) The Minister may authorise the removal or withdrawal of tissue, blood, a blood product or gametes contemplated in paragraph (a) and may impose any condition which may be necessary in respect of such removal or withdrawal.
57. Prohibition of reproductive cloning of human beings
1) A person may not-
a) manipulate any genetic material, including genetic material of human gametes, zygotes or embryos: or
b) engage in any activity, including nuclear transfer or embryo splitting, for the purpose of the reproductive cloning of a human being.
2) The Minister may, under such conditions as maybe prescribed, permit therapeutic cloning utilising adult or umbilical cord stem cells.
3) No person may import or export human zygotes or embryos without the prior written approval of the Minister.
4) The Minister may permit research on stem cells and zygotes which are not more than 14 days old on a written application and if-
a) the applicant undertakes to document the research for record purposes: and
b) prior consent is obtained from the donor of such stem cells or zygotes.
5) Any person who contravenes a provision of this section or who fails to comply therewith is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years or to both a fine and such imprisonment.
a) "reproductive cloning of a human being" means the manipulation of genetic material in order to achieve the reproduction of a human being and includes nuclear transfer or embryo splitting for such purpose; and
b) "therapeutic cloning" means the manipulation of genetic material from either adult, zygotic embryonic cells in order to alter, for therapeutic purposes, the function of cells or tissues.
58. Removal and transplantation of human tissue in hospital or authorised institution
1) A person may not remove tissue from a living person for transplantation in another living person or carry out the transplantation of such tissue except- a) in a hospital or an authorised institution; and
b) on the written authority of-
i) the medical practitioner in charge of clinical services in that hospital or authorised institution, or any other medical practitioner authorised by him or her; or
ii)in the case where there is no medical practitioner in charge of the clinical services at that hospital or authorised institution, a medical practitioner authorised thereto by the person in charge of the hospital or authorized institution.
2) The medical practitioner contemplated in subsection (1) (b) may not participate in a transplant for which he or she has granted authorisation in terms of that subsection.
60. Payment in connection with the importation, acquisition or supply of tissue, blood, blood products or gametes
1) No person, except-
a) a hospital or an institution contemplated in section 58(l)(a), a person or an institution contemplated in section 63 and an authorised institution or, in the case of tissue or gametes imported or exported in the manner provided for in the regulations, the importer or exporter concerned, may receive payment in respect of the acquisition, supply, importation or export of any tissue or gamete for or to another person for any of the purposes contemplated in section 56 or 64;
b) a person or an institution contemplated in section 63 or an authorized institution, may receive any payment in respect of the importation, export or acquisition for the supply to another person of blood or a blood product.
2) The amount of payment contemplated in subsection (1) may not exceed an amount which is reasonably required to cover the costs involved in the importation, export, acquisition or supply of the tissue, gamete, blood or blood product in question.
3) This section does not prevent a health care provider registered with a statutory health professional council from receiving remuneration for any professional service rendered by him or her.
4) It is an offence for a person-
a) who has donated tissue, a gamete, blood or a blood product to receive any form of financial or other reward for such donation, except for the reimbursement of reasonable costs incurred by him or her to provide such donation; and
b) to sell or trade in tissue, gametes, blood or blood products, except as provided for in this Chapter.
5) Any person convicted of an offence in terms of subsection (4) is liable on conviction to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years or to both a fine and such imprisonment.
63. Human bodies, tissue, blood, blood products or gametes may be donated to prescribed institution or person
1) A human body, tissue, blood, blood products or gametes may be donated by any person contemplated in section 55 (a) or 62 to any prescribed institution or person for any purpose contemplated in section 56 or 64 (1).
65. Revocation of donation
1) A donor may, prior to the transplantation of the relevant organ into the done, revoke a donation in the same way in which it was made or, in the case of a donation by way of a will or other document, also by the intentional destruction of that will or document.
Egg donor Registry:
South African egg donation is guided by the above legislation. No egg donor registry is in force and details of egg donations and successes are not recorded in an international egg donor registry. To support the anonymity and confidentiality of South African egg donor programs, South African egg donations do not participate in an international egg donor registry.
Contact us today for more information about egg donation in South Africa.