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Fertility Treatment

Understanding the Legal Aspects of Fertility Treatment and Surrogacy Law in South Africa

Understanding the legal elements of surrogacy and fertility law is essential if you are thinking about utilising the services of a surrogate. Surrogates are used for a variety of medical reasons. Often a family might opt to use the services after several unsuccessful fertility treatments. Under South African law, these conditions must be “permanent and irreversible”, and thus pregnancy is not a viable option for the family.

Sperm or Egg Donation


Once fertility treatments have been unsuccessful, a family might seek the services of a surrogate. Under South African law, the following factors need to be considered when thinking about surrogacy:

1. Genetic connections:  One of the child's parents needs to be genetically related, thus ensuring a genetic link between the child and one of the two parents needs to exist.

2. Compensation:  Surrogacy is not paid; however, the surrogate will be compensated for various components of the process, including any IVF treatments and the pregnancy as a whole. The agreement also needs to consider the potential loss of income of the surrogate mother and make provisions for any other expenses, including medical treatments and health insurance.

3. Understanding legalities: Under South African law, surrogates cannot receive monetary compensation for their surrogacy services. It needs to be for altruistic motives alone. While all expenses around the pregnancy and birth will be covered, as well as any necessary medical treatment, cash compensation or gifts are illegal and can carry serious legal ramifications. Understanding the legalities is essential before embarking on this process.

Why Choose Adele van der Walt Incorporated for Medical-Legal Advice?

Adele van der Walt has been an attorney for 23 years, offering legal expertise in the realm of fertility, medical, and surrogacy law and working both nationally and internationally. Adele van der Walt has a wealth of experience to her name, playing an incremental role in South African surrogacy law and various amendments. We offer our clients a range of services that cover every aspect of surrogacy law. These services include supporting clients with surrogacy agreements and helping single parents and gay parents to pursue the journey towards parenthood.

You don’t have to navigate this complex road alone when you work with our expert legal team. We pride ourselves on offering clients outstanding service relating to fertility and surrogacy law and will go the extra mile to ensure the process is a smooth one. Get in touch for more information, and we will happily get back to you.

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 – March 2022.