In Practice

Posthumous conception: Recent legal developments in South Africa

D W Thaldar


Posthumous conception – when a deceased person’s gametes are used for procreative purposes – made its debut in South African (SA) courts in NC v Aevitas Fertility Clinic. A widow was granted the right to use her deceased husband’s sperm for procreation. Against the background of legislative ambiguity, this case creates legal certainty that posthumous conception is legally permissible in SA – at least where deceased persons provided written consent that their gametes can be used by their surviving spouses or life partners after their death, and where there is no controversy about such consent.

Author's affiliations

D W Thaldar, School of Law, Howard College, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

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Reproductive health; Artificial reproductive technologies; Sperm cryopreservation; Posthumous conception

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2018;108(6):471-473. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2018.v108i6.13182

Article History

Date submitted: 2018-05-25
Date published: 2018-05-25

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