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Becoming a Surrogate Mother

The Requirements to Meet for Becoming a Surrogate Mother in South Africa

Do you consider the idea of becoming a surrogate mother to help a friend have a child of their own? If so, seek legal guidance on the steps to take and requirements to meet for surrogacy arrangements in South Africa, some  of which are discussed below.

Childbearing Age

The Children’s Act of 2005 stipulates the requirements for becoming a surrogate mother. Though the act doesn’t specifically state the minimum and maximum age, it does state that you must have given birth to a living child before and that you must have at least one living child.

You must be healthy and able to carry the child and give birth by way of a caesarean procedure. In addition, you must be able to understand the legal, financial, and emotional implications of the arrangement. It implies that you are old enough to understand the legal implications. With a living child of your own, you must thus be old enough to bear a child. Childbearing age implies being 21 or older but younger than 45 years of age. In this regard, speak to fertility and medical experts to determine if you meet the requirements.


If you suffer from a medical condition that can put you or the child at risk during the pregnancy, it may be difficult to prove that you are healthy and physically fit to carry and give birth to a child. You will need to undergo a medical assessment, which the commissioning couple must pay, to determine whether you meet the physical health requirements.

Consent of Your Partner

If you are in a relationship or married, you need the written consent of your partner for entering the surrogacy arrangement. You can apply to the court to have the permission set aside if your partner unreasonably withholds consent. Consult with a surrogacy law attorney for help in this regard.

Domicile Address

You must be domiciled in South Africa at the time of signing the surrogacy agreement. If you live in Lesotho, Swaziland or a neighbouring country, you can thus not act as a surrogate for a couple in South Africa. Here too, we recommend seeking legal guidance as to what is seen as a domicile in South Africa.

Financial Support

Keep in mind that you may not receive compensation for becoming a surrogate mother other than for costs directly related to the surrogacy. Such costs include medical assessments, hospitalisation, doctor visits, loss of earnings, and insurance. The expenses to be covered must be stipulated in the surrogacy agreement and must be approved by a High Court of the country.

You will undergo a social worker assessment to determine whether you have sufficient family and financial support during the surrogacy. If you and your partner thus have no income or struggle to make ends meet at present, it will be difficult to prove that you are not becoming a surrogate mother for financial gain.

Make sure you understand the steps and requirements for becoming a surrogate mother. Make an appointment with Adele van der Walt Incorporated for legal guidance.


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 – October 2019.