SurrogacyIndia’s focus is in fertility, not infertility. Making babies, is possible. ‘Possible’ is what we believe in.


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Defying Age and Law With Frozen Embryos?

In April 2013, Sofia Vegara announced – on popular day time TV show, Dr Oz – that she and Nick Loeb had chosen to store frozen embryos:

“We’re planning. I’m 40 years old now. Things don’t happen that naturally anymore so I’ve been very concerned about fertility and I wanted to take advantage of science, so I froze my huevos. They’re in a refrigerator somewhere because it’s science. I thought it was science fiction that you can do this type of thing to help women have babies later in life. I thought it was a great idea.”

Now that the couple has split, Sofia would like the embryos to remain frozen indefinitely, adverse to the idea of having children with her ex, whilst Nick is adamant to gain custody over them and the right to raise them himself, stating that to leave them frozen indefinitely is equal to killing them.

South African Law With Regards to Frozen Embryos

There are many rules and restrictions regarding assisted reproduction. Each country’s approach to the topic varies. Here is the unique South African perspective.

Wijnland Fertility Clinic in the Western Cape outlines some of the South African laws regarding IVF and Sperm/Egg donors:

Unlike Turkey, China and Indonesia, South Africa’s liberal constitution allows single parents and same sex couples to undergo IVF.

While most countries only allow for single embryo transfer except in exceptional circumstances, South Africa’s maximum number of embryos per transfer is three. However, SASREG (South African Society for Reproductive and Gynaecological Endoscopy) advises the use of a single embryo in most cases where the woman is under 38.

In SA no-one is allowed to received payment for donating sperm or eggs and their identities are protected by law, unlike in the UK where the children of donor eggs and sperm are entitled to seek out their donor parent.

While some countries allow frozen embryos to be stored indefinitely, SA has a ten-year limit.

South African law prevents a spouse or partner from using the sperm of their deceased partner in an IVF procedure unless consent is clearly given in the deceased’s will.

India is one of the only countries in the world where it is legal for a woman to receive pay for becoming a surrogate mother. In SA this is illegal, although all health expenses are to be paid. Surrogate mothers have no right to the child after birth.

According to Wijnland Fertility Clinic owner and specialist, Dr Johannes van Waart; “Assisted reproduction is still a relatively new area of medicine so the legal environment is also evolving. The most important thing is to protect the rights and wellbeing of the patient and unborn child and we believe that South African law is following global best practice in this regard.”

The Advantages to Frozen Embryos

The biggest advantage to freezing embryos is that you can choose to delay pregnancy until you and your partner are ready to raise kids without risking the health of your future children or your ability to fall pregnant. This is an option which is very attractive to many couples in today’s society.

A fact, that we are all well aware of, is that our ovaries, along with the rest of our body, age over time and this reduces our chances of conceiving, especially after the age of 35. Therefore, frozen embryos allow you the opportunity to have the children you would have had– for example – in your twenties, when you are older, wiser and more financially stable.

This is also a good option for women at risk of developing ovarian cancer.

The Disadvantages to Frozen Embryos

Medic8 states the following disadvantages:

“This is a complicated procedure which requires a great deal of skill and expertise. And because it is a relatively new procedure there is little evidence to show the long term effects of this.”

“The process itself is so precise that there is a fine line between success and failure. Problems include the failure of the embryo to survive the freezing process and the risks of birth defects and genetic abnormalities. The risks of a birth defect or genetic abnormality have been raised but they are as yet unproven.”

“Cost is another factor: there are only a few clinics which perform this procedure and it is very expensive. This is also a highly controversial procedure which some couples will object to it on ethical and moral grounds.”


No comments: