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Centre for Child Law serves on Expert Group on Parentage/Surrogacy Project of the Hague Conference
5 February 2018

The Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria is proud to announce that its Centre for Child Law’s Deputy Director and attorney, Karabo Ozah, has been invited to take part in the third meeting of the Expert Group on Parentage/Surrogacy Project. The meeting will take place in The Hague from 6 to 9 February 2018.

The Expert Group was established in 2015 by the Council on General Affairs and Policy of the Hague Conference. The Expert Group was established to explore the feasibility of advancing work in the area of the status of children, including issues arising from international surrogacy arrangements.

The issue of whom the law should identify as a child’s legal parent(s) was, in most States, relatively settled. However, uncertainty has arisen in recent decades in some States as a result of a combination of changing family patterns and advances in medical science. This has given rise to a number of legal developments across States, including the law on parentage. Difficulties have sometimes arisen, however, because these developments have not been globally uniform. States’ approaches to issues such as paternity disestablishment (in light of DNA testing), assisted reproductive technology and surrogacy arrangements have varied greatly, depending on the State’s cultural, political and social environment. As a result, there is, as yet, no international consensus on how to establish and contest legal parentage in these new circumstances.

In an era of globalisation, when families cross borders with increasing frequency, these differences in States’ domestic laws can give rise to complex questions of private international law concerning the establishment or recognition of children’s legal parentage. These questions implicate children’s fundamental human rights. These and other questions are debated and discussed by the Expert Group.

Ms Ozah is also an extraordinary lecturer in the Department of Private Law.  Karabo researches and publishes in the area of Child Law and Human Rights at the University of Pretoria.  Her involvement in the Expert Group is an acknowledgement of her expertise in the area of children’s rights and surrogacy in South Africa and internationally.

The Centre for Child Law advances and protects children's constitutional rights through strategic litigation, advocacy and research.  

- Author TuksLaw
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Karabo Ozah