Thursday, 16 October 2014

why a Genetic link is necessary in Surrogacy cases

A woman in South Africa has challenged the Surrogacy laws in her country and has asked the Pretoria High Court yesterday to nullify  the requirement that there be a genetic link between the baby and at least one of the people commissioning the surrogate pregnancy.
The requirement is a provision of the Children’s Act of 2005 allows surrogate births only where if at least one  contributes their gametes.
If the Cape Town woman’s application to the court succeeds, it will end her 13-year battle to have a child.
Since 2001, the 56-year-old woman has undergone 18 in vitro fertilisations and has had two miscarriages.
She claims that the requirement of  a genetic link violates a number of her constitutional rights, including those of equality and human dignity, as well as those of others in her position.
She had used her husband’s sperm for the in vitro fertilisations until they divorced.
The woman has been joined in her court application joined in the court bid by the non-profit organisation the Surrogacy Advisory Group, which asserts that the requirement of a genetic link is a human rights violation and is unconstitutional.
The respondent is Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini, who is opposing the application.
The University of Pretoria’s Centre for Child Law has also joined the application. It believes that that the requirement violates constitutional rights but recommends that it be retained except in “exceptional circumstances”.
Dlamini said the genetic link requirement was justified and denied it infringed constitutional rights.  She said adoption was an option for the woman and others in her position. Additional reporting by Nomahlubi Jordaan
it is great that Surrogacy is being debated and considered all over the world,in this day and age governments can no longer interfere in the private lives of citizens and keep telling them what to do!!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Egg Freezing- Apple And Facebook's newest App!!

Surrogacy in India.

Apple and Facebook are offering to freeze eggs for female employees in an effort to attract more women on to their staff.
Apple, said it would offer the perk to US-based staff from January.
“Apple cares deeply about our employees and their families, and we are always looking at new ways our health programmes can meet their needs,” said the company.
“We continue to expand our benefits for women, with a new extended maternity leave policy, along with cyropreservation and egg storage as part of our extensive support for infertility treatments … We want to empower women at Apple to do the best work of their lives as they care for loved ones and raise their families.”
Apple’s move follows the appointment of Denise Young Smith as head of human resources in February. She is making a big push on diversity and inclusion at the iPhone maker.
The offer to freeze eggs is among initiatives that include longer parental leave, education reimbursements for all classes taken by employees and subsidised student loan refinancing.
In an effort to attract and retain talent, Young Smith has asked Apple’s 98,000 employees to find out what kind of benefits they care most about.
Facebook offers up to $20,000 (£13,000) for egg freezing for female employees. The company also offers adoption and surrogacy assistance and “a host of other fertility services for male and female employees”, the company said.
A typical round of egg freezing costs about $10,000, with $500 or more in fees each year for storage. Two rounds are usually necessary to harvest about 20 eggs, which is considered ideal.
The latest moves by Apple and Facebook are part of a growing trend to offer more employee perks at Silicon Valley companies to recruit new staff.
of course in India the same thing would cost about 2000us$

There is a dearth of senior women in Silicon Valley so the perks offered by Apple and Facebook could be seen as an attempt to rectify the gender imbalance. Apple said in its diversity report this year that its workforce was 70% male, while Facebook reported its workforce was 69% male.

The idea behind “fertility preservation” is that by removing and fertilising their eggs in their 20s, women will have a better chance of becoming pregnant in their 30s and 40s. 

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Surrogacy -French Government takes 1 step forward and 2 steps Backwards

PARIS–The French "Protest for All" movement has gathered 100,000 participants in Paris and Bordeaux on 6 October 2014.  Last week, Prime Minister Manuel Valls wanted to reassure, and affirmed to be opposed to gestational surrogacy, a practice of what he calls as “commercializing human beings and merchandising the female bodies”, something intolerable, according to his own words. France also plans a global initiative to get a ruling among the states to this affect.God Only Knows what stone age he is still living in!!

Last weekend, “La Manif pour Tous” or Protests for all has once again shown the sustainability of the movement and its supporters.  Established in November 2012, in reaction to the Taubira law on marriage between persons of the same sex, the movement has grown to a reach that no sociologist or political scientist could have predicted: six large protests, including two that gathered around one million people. With this last rally, the government seems to have understood the message coming from a solid base of the population, defending a “natural” family pattern as the foundation of French society.

This is the card of appeasement PM Manuel Valls played a few days before the rally, admitting he had changed his mind on gestational surrogacy, and recognizing in the public debate the virtue of having evolved government positions. “I think we cannot go towards this kind of procreation that would question our values and principles,” declared the Prime Minister during a press conference in Matignon office.
The gestational surrogacy and the assisted reproduction for people of the same sex, were actually underlying effects of the first piece of legislation on marriage for all sexes in 2012.  What belonged to the natural state of a human being would be legislated by political ideas. That is why, considering the public outcry that started two years ago, and thanks to a deeper debate, the government is now strictly opposed to the legislation of gestational surrogacy.
Some of My French Patients were very excited and hoped that they would be able to access Surrogacy abroad but unfortunately it seems they might have to wait for a change of Government.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Importance of Parental order in British Surrogacy cases

Surrogacy in India

A parental order under section 54 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008  is compulsory for British Commissioning parents who have had a baby through Surrogacy abroad
The issue came up in a UK court last week. It was brought by a couple who wanted a surrogate child, presumably because they were unable to have one of their own. We know little about them except that they began legal proceedings in Birmingham.
In 2011, the Birmingham couple made a surrogacy agreement with a married couple in India. The Indian surrogate mother conceived using eggs donated by a third party and sperm from the Birmingham father.
A child was born in December 2011, the surrogate parents confirmed that they wanted to give up their parental rights and responsibilities, and the Birmingham couple brought the child to the UK on a British passport last year. He is well cared for and much loved.
So far, so good. But what the Birmingham parents did not know is that they needed a parental order from the English courts. That would ensure that the child was treated as their own. More importantly, it would extinguish the legal rights and responsibilities of the Indian couple. Without such an order, the Indian mother and her husband would continue to be treated as the child’s parents. They had no wish to remain involved with the child but could not give up those responsibilities without a court order.
A parental order under section 54 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 was the obvious solution.
But there was a problem. Section 54(3) says that “the applicants must apply for the order during the period of six months beginning with the day on which the child is born”. It does not say what should happen if they do not. The Birmingham couple were at least a year late

Giving judgment in the surrogacy case last week, Sir James Munby said the courts had to decide which of these categories a case fell into. Did parliament intend non-compliance with the six-month deadline to be fatal? Or did it intend a “sensible” result?
Munby, the president of the family division, pointed out that a parental order “has the most profound personal, emotional, psychological, social and, it may be in some cases, cultural and religious, consequences”. A court had to treat the welfare of the child as paramount throughout his life. Parliament could not have intended a delay of a few months – for which the child had no responsibility – as critical. So he made the parental order that the Birmingham parents had requested.
Munby was able to reach this conclusion using principles of statutory interpretation. But he said he could also have reached the same result by “reading down” the statute under the Human Rights Act. However, he stressed that every case was fact-specific.