Becoming a Surrogate Mother
Important Requirements for Becoming a Surrogate Mother
Various important requirements are stipulated in the Children’s Act if a woman wants to be a surrogate mother in South Africa. For one, becoming a surrogate mother cannot be for commercial gain. As such, the High Court of the country requires evidence to support the surrogate’s claim for not entering the arrangement to profit from the surrogacy. She must thus have sufficient family support and financial stability to ensure that she is not becoming a surrogate mother because she needs the money and hopes to get additional compensation over and above that which the Children’s Act stipulates.
Becoming a surrogate mother in South Africa entails having to undergo medical, psychological, and social worker assessments. The surrogate must be able to understand the contract and consequences of entering the arrangement.
The surrogate must be psychologically stable. She must also meet various physical requirements for becoming a surrogate. For one, she must be of childbearing age and healthy enough to carry and give birth to a child. To this end, the High Court requires documented evidence of her previous pregnancy or pregnancies and successful birthing of a living child of her own. She must have at least one living child of her own.
She has to reside in the country at the time of signing the agreement and must have the written consent of her partner before entering the surrogate arrangement. The High Court may, at its discretion, put aside the written consent of the partner if they unreasonably withhold such.
The surrogate mother must understand her rights and obligations to the child. She has no contact rights with the child unless stipulated in the agreement. She has the right to terminate the pregnancy for medical reasons, but can also do so for other reasons if done according to the requirements of the Children’s Act. In the latter instance, she must discuss her intention to terminate the pregnancy with the commissioning parents.
Becoming a surrogate in South Africa also entails undergoing fertilisation. Although the Act doesn’t stipulate the maximum number of IVF attempts, it does stipulate that IVF must take place within 18 months from confirmation of the agreement by the High Court.
If you want to become a surrogate mother, it is imperative that you understand and can meet the requirements of such an arrangement. As such, the first step should be to seek legal advice from an experienced surrogacy attorney. Call us for more information and legal assistance.
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 – January 2019.