A Child's Right to Identity in the Context of Embryo Donation: Part 1





Assisted reproductive technologies, disclosure, donor-conceived child, embryo donation, gamete donor


This article investigates the extent to which the South African Legislature and the international community recognise the right to identity of a child born through embryo donation. A distinction is drawn between embryo donation, gamete donation and surrogacy. Thereafter, the article discusses the multiple aspects which the right to identity comprises, namely: personal, biological, family and siblingship identity. An assessment is made of how these various aspects are impacted by national and cross-border embryo donation arrangements. The Children's Act 38 of 2005, the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, the National Health Act 61 of 2003 and the Regulations Relating to Artificial Fertilisation of Persons, in addition to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC) are critically examined to the extent that may be applicable to children born through embryo donation. The article concludes that neither the South African legislative framework, nor the CRC or the ACRWC explicitly upholds the child's right to identity


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Author Biographies

Nicole Bouah, University of the Western Cape

Associate, Apex Fund and Corporate Products SA

Carmel Jacobs, University of the Western Cape

Senior Lecturer, Department of Private Law, University of the Western Cape, South Africa.




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How to Cite

Bouah, N., & Jacobs, C. (2024). A Child’s Right to Identity in the Context of Embryo Donation: Part 1. Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal, 27, (Published on 5 June 2024) pp 1–34. https://doi.org/10.17159/1727-3781/2024/v27i0a15131




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