Become a Surrogate Mother
What You Need to Know if You Want to Become a Surrogate Mother
At first glance it may seem like a very difficult process to become a surrogate mother in South Africa. This, however is not the case considering that you will have the support of your legal team, the fertility clinic, medical personnel and the commissioning couple, in addition to your family, it will also be a rewarding experience. Since surrogacy is only allowed in South Africa for altruistic reasons, you will most certainly also be appreciated for your unselfish act in helping a childless couple to become parents.
Let’s first have a look at the requirements for becoming a surrogate mother in South Africa, for instance, the fact that you must be domicile in South Africa at the time of signing the surrogacy agreement. By understanding the requirements, it will help you make an informed decision and provide you some clarity about what is involved. Some of your concerns will also be addressed.
You will need to have given birth to a living child of your own before and must have at least one living child at present. With the requirement in place it also means that you must be of child bearing age. Though the law does not stipulate the minimum and maximum age, having given life to a child of your own before does imply that you must be old enough to make legal decisions for yourself. The fertility clinics normally screen candidates who want to become surrogates and because pregnancy can be risky for the mother and child when the mother is older than 35, they normally have a cut-off age. To determine if you are within the allowable age group, it would best to consult with them or to speak with a surrogacy lawyer.
You must be healthy. Though the law does not stipulate that you cannot be a smoker or use addiction causing substances, you will undergo medical assessments to determine your health level. Since substance usage will risk the health of the baby and the rights of the child are the main concern, the court will not be likely to approve a surrogacy where the surrogate mother uses potentially harmful substances.
If you are married or in a relationship, your partner will have to give written consent. Only if your partner unreasonably withholds the consent will the court put it aside. You will also have to undergo a psychological assessment to determine emotional and mental stability. Finally, you will be assessed by a social worker to determine whether you have the required support structure to help you through the pregnancy and after the birth of the child.
The surrogacy agreement must be signed by all parties and confirmed by the High Court of South Africa before the IVF process can commence. Be sure to have a medical law attorney review the agreement if provided by the commissioning parent’s attorney.
Should you wish to become a surrogate in South Africa, contact Adele van der Walt Incorporated, an experienced surrogacy attorney, for legal advice.
Information in this article is not intended as legal advice and is only for informational purposes. Please seek legal guidance from Adele van der Walt before relying on this information to make any legal decisions.