Become a Surrogate Mother
What are the Requirements to Become a Surrogate Mother in South Africa?
The requirements to become a surrogate mother in South Africa are regulated by the Children’s Act of 2005. As ideal as the notion may seem, it is an emotional process, especially because the surrogate and her family don’t have contact rights with the child after birth, unless provisions for such rights are made in the surrogacy agreement.
Since surrogacy for financial gain is illegal in South Africa, it’s fair to say that the willingness to go through the process to help a couple get a genetically linked child of their own is a truly unselfish act. But it’s vital to understand that it involves physical, psychological and social worker assessments, medical treatments, hospitalisation and risk.
If you understand that apart from the emotional involvement, you will also have to travel, take particularly good care of your health during the period, and hand the child to the commissioning couple shortly after birth, it can be an emotionally rewarding experience.
If you’re interested, read on to learn more about the legal requirements to become a surrogate mother in the country.
Domiciled in South Africa
At the time of signing the surrogacy agreement, you must be domiciled in the country.
Own living children
You must have given birth to a living child of your own before, and must have at least one living child, meaning you must already be a mother.
Your partner must consent
If you’re in a relationship, you need the written consent of your partner to enter into a surrogacy agreement.
You must be healthy and physically able to conceive, carry the child for the pregnancy period and give birth to the child. If you have diabetes, a genetic disorder, a family history of high blood pressure and other health issues, first discuss these with a medical practitioner and surrogacy attorney before offering your services. Although the exact health points are not discussed in the Children’s Act, a judge will need to be satisfied that you are healthy enough to go through the process without putting your life and the life of the child in danger.
You must be of child-bearing age
This means you must be old enough to have given birth to a living child before, and must be young enough to reduce the risk of complications related to being older if you want to become a surrogate mother. The law doesn’t stipulate the cut-off age. As such, discuss this issue with a medical law attorney and the fertility clinic before making a final decision.
To prevent people from renting their bodies out for surrogacy or being forced into it, a social worker assesses the surrogate’s financial health and family support. Keep in mind that the commissioning parents will carry the legal costs, travel and medical expenses and loss of income, where relevant. You will need to be able to support yourself during the period.
Make sure you understand these and other requirements to become a surrogate mother in South Africa. Get in touch with Adele van der Walt Incorporated for more information and help in drafting the surrogacy agreement.
Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Call on our attorneys for legal advice, rather than relying on the information herein to make any decisions. The information is relevant to the date of publishing – November 2021.