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MP Joyce Lay opens up on drama with surrogate mother of her child

By JOHN NJAGI April 16th, 2015 2 min read

Debate on a Bill to regulate in-vitro fertilisation in Kenya took an emotional turn in the National Assembly as an MP told about her experience and frustrations while dealing with the surrogate mother of her child.

Taita-Taveta Woman Representative Joyce Lay was on the verge of tears as she told her colleagues that she spent four years in court to get her child from the other woman.

The sponsor of the In-Vitro Fertilisation Bill, Mbita MP Millie Odhiambo also spoke of her own troubles while trying to adopt children.

“We need a law that will save women from the pain of going through lawyers and the court process while seeking to adopt a child,” said Ms Lay.


The emotional MP said given her personal experience, the introduction of the Bill, was like an answer to a prayer.

Ms Lay said she was aware of long queues at in-vitro fertilisation clinics, calling for a legal framework to guide the procedure.

The envisaged law will protect the rights of test-tube babies and their mothers. It also proposes, tough regulations, to discourage in-vitro fertilisation for speculative purposes.

“A person qualifies to undertake in-vitro fertilisation where it is certified by a medical doctor that she cannot conceive naturally due to age and lifestyle,” reads the Bill, which is now at the Second Reading stage.

However, the Bill seems set for a collision course with the House Health Committee, which has suggested that other methods of assisted fertilisation should be included before the Bill is passed, with the committee opposed to the narrowing down of the issue to only one approach.


The committee chairperson, Ms Rachel Nyamai, said the team was not opposed to the In-Vitro Fertilisation Bill, but recommended that the drafters incorporate other methods.

“There are 10 other methods where couples can benefit from assisted fertilisation and this Bill should not be seen to be offering only one of the options available,” said Ms Nyamai.