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Surrogacy and Fertility Treatment Options for Same Gender Couples in South Africa

It is possible to find a surrogate mother and various fertility treatment options in South Africa if you are a same gender couple or single person.

Single Females and Lesbian Couples (No Surrogacy Procedure)

Lesbian couples and single females have the option of sperm donation where fertilisation takes places through the use of artificial insemination using donor sperm. The process involves the usage of sperm from the sperm bank or the sperm from a known sperm donator. The sperm is first screened and quarantined for a period of six months and then tested again for any infectious diseases. Only once the sperm has passed the various tests is it made available for insemination. It is also possible to make use of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) if the female is already at an age where she may struggle with various types of infertility problems. The harvested eggs of the female are then fertilised using donor sperm. The embryos are then transferred to the female’s uterus. In some instances, the lesbian partner may act as the surrogate or carrier of the embryo.

Single Men or Gay Male Couples

In the instance of a male gay couple or a single man, the egg is provided through donation and the child is carried by a gestational surrogate. In this instance, the inseminated egg is transferred to the carrier or surrogate’s uterus. Note that the egg is donated and is thus not the egg of the surrogate. One of the gay partners must provide the sperm for donation. The process involves harvesting of the eggs from a voluntary donor and the sperm from one of the commissioning males. The insemination is done and the embryo is transferred to the womb of the carrier who is not genetically related to the baby.

Traditional Surrogacy

The option of traditional surrogacy is where the surrogate’s eggs are harvested and artificially inseminated. The embryos are inserted into her uterus and she carries the child to birth for the commissioning couple. In terms of the law, the surrogate has 60 days after birth to decide whether she keeps the child.

How to Find a Surrogate Mother

If you are a single male or female couple residing in South Africa, you will benefit most from the expertise offered by fertility clinics in the country. They will also put you in contact with surrogates who have passed the screening processes. If you have a family member or friend who is willing to act as surrogate, approach a medical law attorney to provide the required legal guidance.

Before insemination can take place, you must first have a court approved written agreement with the surrogate. If you don’t, the surrogacy is illegal and the surrogate will become the legal parent of the child. Various assessments are performed on the commissioning couple and the surrogate to determine whether the requirements for surrogacy are met. The medical law attorney will handle the application to court. Note that surrogacy is only allowed for altruistic reasons in South Africa and there are numerous legal requirements that must be met such as, but not limited to:

  • Gametes of at least one of the commissioning partners must be used.
  • The surrogate and at least one of the commissioning parents must reside in the country at the time of signing the agreement.
  • The surrogate must have given birth to a living child before and must have at least one living child.
  • The surrogate’s partner must provide consent for the process.

Get help in finding a surrogate mother in South Africa through one of the fertility clinics or through a reputable surrogacy lawyer.