Surrogacy Agreements and the Rights of Children in Nigeria and South Africa
Keywords:Surrogacy agreements, best interests of the child, biological heritage, identity and nationality, prevention from harm
Surrogacy agreements help to provide children for persons who cannot achieve conception or carry a child to term themselves. This practice has improved several lives over the years but can also be exploitative for some parties involved, if not adequately regulated.
Using the doctrinal research method, this study discusses the rights of children in surrogacy agreements and examines the regulation of the practice in Nigeria and South Africa. This study found that a comprehensive framework regulating surrogacy agreements is lacking in Nigeria, while the practice is regulated in South Africa under Chapter 19 of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 (Children’s Act). The lack of a legal framework in Nigeria implies that the rights of children born through surrogacy agreements may be violated. Two Bills are however awaiting passage into law in Nigeria.
This study thus recommends the enactment of these Bills into one comprehensive law so as to regulate surrogacy agreements effectively in Nigeria and safeguard the well-being of children. Legislation regulating surrogacy agreements in Nigeria should include provisions similar to those found in the Children’s Act of South Africa. Policies that promote the best interests of the child should be adhered to and their rights to know their biological heritage, identity and nationality, and to prevention from harm, should be protected and promoted.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Olusegun Olaitan Oluwaseyi, Olatawura Oladimeji
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