Gestational Surrogacy with Oocyte/Embryo Donation and the Litigious Foci in Nigeria
Keywords:Adoption, gestational surrogacy, Nigeria, oocyte/embryo donation, parental responsibility, rights of the child
It happens often that a couple unable to have biological children may resort to traditional or
gestational surrogacy to get own child who will inherit their property and continue their lineage.
The basic question underlying this research is: from where does the parental responsibility of the
in-vitro fertilization (IVF) commissioning couple over the child born through gestational
surrogate donor derive in the scheme of the contractual and legal frameworks operating in
Nigeria? This paper sets out to examine the legality of gestational surrogacy with donor gametes
vis-à-vis subsisting case law on the acquisition of parentage in Nigeria. It finds that there is no
law vesting parentage on a couple who merely commissioned gestational surrogacy without
genetic contribution or vesting inheritance rights on the IVF child over the property of such couple.
It recommends that Nigeria should enact legislation in the area of IVF embryo transfer (ET) to
legalize IVF-ET, give statutory authorization for the execution of surrogacy contracts, and provide
details of the relationships amongst all the stakeholders in the IVF-ET arrangement.