Steps to Follow to Become a Surrogate Mother
Five Steps to Follow to Become a Surrogate Mother in South Africa
Although the Children’s Act stipulates the legal requirements for surrogacy in South Africa, it is quiet about the appropriate steps to follow to become a surrogate mother. But before you spend money to undergo medical screenings, you need to speak to an experienced surrogacy attorney who will be able to advise you regarding the appropriate steps to follow if you wish to become a surrogate mother.
The above is true whether you want to become a surrogate mother to help your friend in becoming a parent or if you want to do so for someone you do not know.
Step 1: Get Legal Advice
You need to meet the legal requirements, such as being resident in South Africa at the time of signing the surrogacy agreement, having at least one living child of your own, and having given birth to a living child before. In addition, you need the written consent of your partner for the surrogacy. The lawyer will also advise you regarding the costs and the compensation for such, which the commissioning parents must pay.
Step 2: Meet with the Commissioning Parents
If you don’t personally know the commissioning parents, it is imperative that you meet with them before you sign any document. You can then discuss issues such as the payment of costs, your rights to terminate the pregnancy, how many embryos will be implanted, whether contact rights will be given, and more.
Step 3: Draft the Surrogacy Agreement
One of the most important steps to follow to become a surrogate mother in South Africa is to have a surrogacy agreement drafted between you and the commissioning parents. The agreement must be confirmed by the High Court of South Africa. As such, it must meet certain requirements, which the lawyer will explain.
Step 4: Undergo the Various Screenings
Once the agreement is in place, you need to undergo specific assessments to determine your medical health, the ability to carry the child to term and to give birth to the child. You must be physically healthy, and the medical assessments will be used to determine whether you meet the health requirements.
You will also have to undergo a social worker assessment to determine whether you have sufficient family and financial support during the period. This is to prevent a situation where someone becomes a surrogate for financial gain as surrogacy is only allowed for altruistic reasons in South Africa.
Finally, you must undergo psychological assessments to determine your emotional and mental state of health. It is essential, as you need to understand what surrogacy is and what agreement you sign. The assessments also determine whether you are emotionally stable, as surrogacy is an extremely emotional experience. For one, you will need to hand the baby over to the commissioning parents as soon as possible after the birth of the child.
Step 5 – Confirm the Agreement in the High Court
The assessment results are submitted along with the agreement. Various other documents are also submitted to the High Court on behalf of the surrogacy parties. Once confirmed, the IVF process can commence.
The above are the basic steps to follow to become a surrogate mother in South Africa. It is a truly unselfish act and thus commendable. However, to avoid various pitfalls you first need to seek legal advice regarding the requirements and process to follow. As such, should you have any queries regarding surrogacy in South Africa, please feel free to contact Adele van der Walt Incorporated.
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.