Medical Issues of Surrogacy
Important Medical Issues of Surrogacy in South Africa to Consider
It is extremely important to consider the legal and medical issues of surrogacy in South Africa before you set out to find a suitable surrogate. We briefly discuss some of the legal and medical issues below to help you better understand such.
Proof of Infertility
Surrogacy is only allowed for altruistic reasons. The “womb for hire” system is thus not applicable to South Africa. No party to the agreement is allowed to benefit commercially from surrogacy. Surrogacy is also not allowed for reasons such a couple being too busy to take time off for the pregnancy or a female commissioning parent that simply does not want to go through pregnancy and thus finds it more convenient for a surrogate to carry the baby to birth.
The commissioning couple must be able to prove that they are infertile. For such, medical records must be available to the effect and the couple must undergo medical screening to determine infertility.
Gametes of at least One Parent
Another one of the medical issues of surrogacy to consider is the requirement of a genetic link with the child. With surrogacy in South Africa, the commissioning parents automatically become the legal parents of the child once the child is born. There is no adoption process to follow. This is so because the law stipulates that at least one of the parents must provide the gametes used in the IVF process. If both parents are infertile, then adoption rather than surrogacy will be the best option.
Mental and Psychological Health
The surrogacy agreement is submitted to the High Court of South Africa for confirmation before the IVF process can commence. If the agreement is not confirmed, it is simply not legal to commence with IVF. In order to confirm the agreement, the Court must be satisfied that the commissioning couple is mentally able to take care of the child and that they will be able to go through the process of surrogacy. This also applies to psychological stability. The couple must undergo psychological and social worker assessments regarding the above. The surrogate must also be mentally stable and able to understand what she is agreeing to. She must be psychologically stable and thus must undergo the psychological and social worker assessments.
Another one of the medical issues of surrogacy to consider is that of the surrogate’s state of health. The law requires that she must have given birth to a living child of her own before and must have at least one living child. She must be of childbearing age; a person at the age of 18 is thus too young. Likewise, a person in their fifties cannot carry a child to birth without it posing serious health risks to the surrogate and the child. The surrogate must undergo medical assessments to determine her health. She must not be addicted to any drugs or substances.
There are many and complicated legal and medical issues of surrogacy to consider, best discussed with an attorney that specialises in surrogacy law. It is also recommended that you consult an infertility specialist regarding the medical issues of surrogacy to help you make an informed decision.
Contact Adele van der Walt Incorporated for more information.
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 Incorporated before relying on this information to make any legal decisions.