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How to Find a Surrogate Mother in South Africa and What to Expect

With surrogacy only allowed for altruistic reasons in the country, commissioning couples often don’t know how to find a surrogate mother in South Africa. Many couples ask close friends or family members and, in some instances, friends offer to be the surrogates.

Since the fertilisation process is often complex and surrogacy pregnancies not without risk to the mother and child, it is important to screen candidates for their medical, emotional, mental and social support state. Fertility and surrogacy agencies in the country handle such screening processes according to the requirements of the law. They shortlist candidates and are often in the best position to match suitable surrogate mothers with couples in South Africa.

Couples can approach medical law attorneys for assistance and it is not recommended to simply put an advert in the classifieds. The law states that the agreement between the commissioning parents and the surrogate must be confirmed before fertilisation can take place. Should the parties fail to adhere to the regulation it will mean that the surrogate becomes the rightful parent of the child.

Understanding the legal requirements and complexities involved in surrogacy agreements and pregnancies is essential for all parties. As such, it is recommended that the parties seek legal guidance as to the requirements by law, their rights and obligations.

The commissioning couples are often in close contact with the surrogate throughout the pregnancy and a friendship may form. However, the surrogate doesn’t have any rights to the child after birth unless so agreed in the confirmed agreement irrespective of her relation to the commissioning parents.

On the matter of commercial gain, one should understand that the costs involved in the surrogacy must be carried by the commissioning parents. The cost of the fertilisation treatments, IVF, medical tests, psychological tests, social worker assessments, lawyers, doctor visits, hospitalisation and after-care must be taken into consideration. In addition, the surrogate will have travel costs to and from the hospital or medical practitioner, pregnancy clothing, and loss of income that must be compensated. Such are all costs and not commercial gain. The court application fees are also payable. Couples should thus be in a financially able position to cover the mentioned costs.

The surrogate can exercise her right to termination of the pregnancy only after discussion of such with the commissioning parents. The risk of such happening is always eminent and if not done for medical reasons, the surrogate can be held accountable for all the costs. Surrogacy is thus not a process without risks, emotional and physical challenges and costs. For these reasons, the screening processes are in place to help reduce the risks and to protect the interests of the child.

Working through well-established and reputable surrogacy and fertility clinics in South Africa is highly recommended, whether you want to become a surrogate or want to find a surrogate mother in South Africa. For the legal requirements and avoidance of pitfalls, seek legal guidance. You will also benefit from legal assistance with the surrogacy agreement setup, review and submission to the High Court.