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Surrogacy Cases in South Africa

The First Surrogacy Case in South Africa

One of the first recorded surrogacy cases in South Africa was that of Pat Anthony who took on the role of surrogate for her daughter in 1987. Triplets were born from the surrogacy. Karen Ferreira Jorge was 25 years of age, but due to complications after the birth of her first son, she had to undergo a hysterectomy.

She still wanted more children, however, and her mom, Pat Anthony who was 47 years old at the time, stepped in to become the first surrogate in South Africa. Ferreira’s eggs were fertilised in a lab and then implanted in her mother’s uterus through the IVF process. All three eggs developed into healthy embryos. Three children were born from the surrogacy, named David, Paula, and José. Birthing was by means of a caesarean section. It was also one of the first surrogacy cases in the world, and not only South Africa, in which the grandmother was also the surrogate.

It is also one of the first altruistic surrogacy cases in South Africa. Although many more surrogacy cases followed in South Africa, unlike the situation in various other countries, surrogacy cannot be done for commercial gain in South Africa. It is also important to understand that in South Africa, a surrogacy is only allowed if there is a genetic link between at least one of the commissioning parents and the child born from the surrogacy.

Where disputes arise regarding surrogacy agreements, the Children’s Act of 2005 and specifically Section 19 must be studied in detail. Although the Act certainly does not stipulate every aspect that can become a point of dispute in surrogacy agreements, it does provide the requirements, which must be met for surrogacy to be legal in South Africa.

Due to the many health risks involved for the surrogate and the child, it is important that the surrogate is of childbearing age, in good physical and medical health, and able to carry the child to birth. She must be emotionally stable and able to understand what the process entails. She must have the written consent of her partner and must have at least one living child of her own. She must have given birth to a living child before. In addition, the Court must be satisfied that she does not enter into the surrogacy agreement for financial gain. As such, she must have sufficient financial and family support.

The High Court of South Africa is where applications must be submitted for surrogacy agreements. The Court also rules regarding disputes and legal aspects of surrogacy cases in South Africa.

There are various factors that must be considered when it comes to surrogacy and, as such, we recommend that you speak with an attorney before you begin the surrogacy process. Contact Adele van der Walt Incorporated today should you require further assistance.


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.