When and How to Commission the Services of a Surrogate Mother in South Africa
If you have gone through countless fertility programmes without success in becoming pregnant or carrying a child to birth, you may have entertained the thought of making use of a surrogate mother in South Africa.
Before you set out on a quest to find a suitable surrogate mother, you need to ensure that you understand the laws surrounding surrogacy in the country. First determine whether you and your partner, as commissioning parents, meet the requirements:
- One or both or the intended parents must be domiciled in South Africa
- You must have proof that you are infertile in the form of medical records to confirm such.
- You must be emotionally and mentally fit for parenthood (will undergo an evaluation).
You need to find a surrogate mother in South Africa that meets the following requirements:
- Lives in South Africa at the time of signing the surrogacy agreement (in same matter there may be exceptions).
- Psychologically and physically fit to carry and give birth to the baby.
- Must have at least one living child.
- Must have successfully given birth to a living child at least once.
- Must have the consent of her partner for the surrogacy (if any)
Note that surrogacy for commercial gain is illegal in the country, though the medical costs, compensation for loss of income during the pregnancy, and legal costs are payable by the commissioning parents.
Where to find a surrogate mother in South Africa?
There are many healthy and loving women in the country willing to become surrogate mothers for altruistic reasons. It is, however, imperative to follow proper channels to get in contact with them. You will find that various fertility clinics and agencies exist to assist you through the process.
You cannot proceed with fertilisation unless the surrogacy agreement, which must be drawn up by a medical law attorney, has been confirmed by a High Court of the country. If you do proceed without confirmation, the agreement will be rendered invalid and the surrogate will become the legal parent of the child.
No need for adoption
The commissioning parents become the legal parents of the child at birth. This means that there are no adoption processes to go through. It will however, be necessary to stipulate any contact arrangements between the surrogate and your baby afterwards, should you wish for her to be in contact with the child.
The commissioning parents and the surrogate will need to undergo psychological and medical evaluations, and the results of the evaluations must be submitted to the court in support of their application for confirmation of the surrogate agreement.
Importance of legal assistance
As stated earlier, the agreement must be drawn up by a medical law or surrogacy attorney. With many possible pitfalls, it is essential to get in contact with an attorney for guidance and to ensure full compliance with the surrogacy laws of the country. We, at Adele van der Walt Incorporated, specialise in personal injury, medical and surrogacy law, and can provide you with professional legal guidance and services throughout the process.