Draft report: discussion

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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

11 February 1999

It was decided to go ahead with the discussion without the necessary quorum of 14, and then ensure a quorum for final adoption.

Dr van Heerden (NNP) clarified his party’s position (contained in the report as a dissenting view) that:
- in Para. the consent to an agreement is only mandatory from a legal husband. (delete "or partners").
- in Para. surrogacy should not be available to homosexuals, partnered or not.
- in Para. a compromise is acceptable, with at least ONE parent being a S A citizen.
- in Para. 6.5.1. " or shall receive from any person " should be deleted.
- in Para. "immediately" should be deleted.
- in Para. 7.2 "laws of succession " should be added.

It was decided to re-word, 6.6.7 and to avoid contradiction and repetition.

Ananda Louw of the S A Law Commission clarified the difference between the U.S. model of "direct parentage" and the U K system of "fast-track adoption". In this country, after studying both models on the ground, it had been decided to try to go for the best of both worlds - to establish "direct parentage" in cases of full surrogacy, where the surrogate mother had no genetic links to the child ; and "fast-track adoption" in the case of partial surrogacy, where the commissioning father's sperm and the surrogate mother's ovum are used. In the latter case there is allowance for re-consideration in the period between 6 weeks and 6 months after the birth. In both systems the mother's position has been protected as adequately as possible both in the legislation envisaged and in the contract of agreement recommended.

Points raised were :
- In the case of adoption the baby's status may be uncertain for up to 6 months.
- If the mother changes her mind after the birth (partially surrogate), who is responsible for the costs?
- Commercial exploitation of surrogacy should be avoided at all costs.
- In the case of partial surrogacy a choice of options could be made available.
- Is it necessary to lay down a form of contract?

Problematic areas could be noted for the benefit of the drafters of the legislation.

After five years of work on this Report it was unanimously adopted with the assistance of four very temporarily co-opted M Ps to provide a quorum.

Dr van Heerden (NNP) and others remarked on how pleasant the co-operative attitude of all on the Commission had been, and the high standard of leadership consistently shown by Ms Jana.


Chairperson: Ms D P Jana (ANC)
: 7 members (ANC)
: 1 member (NNP)
: 1 member (IFP)
: 1 member (DP)
: 4 co-opted members (3 ANC, 1 NNP)
: Ananda Louw (S A Law Commission)


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