Regulations & legal considerations
Ova donation is regulated in terms of South African legislation and a wide variety of ethical and legal aspects need to be considered and addressed with regard to the entire process of donation, for both donors and recipients.
There are various considerations, legally and ethically, when it comes to gamete donation. Some of the most important aspects include the legal limit of live births that can be achieved through the use of donor gametes (ova and sperm) and the anonymity of both the donor and recipient.
Regulations regarding ova donation for donors and recipients

The National Health Act of 2003 (as amended in 2016) provides specific laws and regulations that ova donor agencies and fertility clinics need to strictly adhere to. There are several medical, ethical, psychological and legal aspects that need to be addressed when ova donation is considered.

It is the donor’s legal responsibility to ensure that the information disclosed, regarding her own and her family’s medical history, is provided accurately and truthfully to the best of her knowledge. It is also the donor’s responsibility to maintain a healthy lifestyle during the course of the donation.

Once a donor has received all the necessary information regarding the donation process, she will be required to sign a written consent form should she wish to continue with the donation. It is of extreme importance to us that the donor understands that she is allowed to withdraw her consent at any point before the use of the ova for fertilisation however, once the ova have been used for fertilisation, legal ownership of the embryo formed with the use of donated ova, will vest in the recipient.

In most cases, the donors are unrelated to the recipients and donate for either altruistic and/or monetary reasons. In South Africa, anonymous donors are recruited by egg donor agencies or fertility clinics. The identity of both the donor and the recipient/s will be kept anonymous.

The donor will not be legally bound or responsible in any form for any children conceived through her donation, thus the donor relinquishes all parental rights indefinitely. Should the donor be diagnosed with any serious medical condition that could be genetic, she is obliged to contact us.

According to Chapter 8 of the National Health Act (Act No. 61 of 2003), Regulations Relating to Artificial Fertilisation (Government Gazette, 30 September 2016), a donor may legally not have more than twelve live births, thus no more than twelve children may be born from a single donor’s gametes, excluding the donor’s own children. At Wijnland Ova Bank we strictly adhere to this law. Detailed records are kept of each donor which includes the donor’s medical history, profile, donations and all events relating to the issuing of the donor’s gametes. Thus, it is extremely important that once donor gametes have been used for any fertility procedure, at any fertility clinic, and a pregnancy is achieved, the donor bank be notified of the pregnancy outcome in order to ensure legal adherence.