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Surrogacy Pros and Cons

The Main Pros and Cons of Surrogacy

Surrogacy provides infertile couples the opportunity to have a genetically related child of their own. However, the process is not without its disadvantages, though it certainly also offers benefits to the couple. We look at a few surrogacy pros and cons to help you make an informed decision, whether as commissioning couple or as a potential surrogate mother.

The Cons of Surrogacy

If you plan on becoming a surrogate for altruistic reasons, you need to know that it is not a completely risk or pain free experience. You will have to undergo a serious of medical tests to determine whether you are healthy and able to become pregnant and deliver the child. In addition, you will need to undergo psychological examinations to determine whether you are mentally stable and emotionally strong enough for the demand that the pregnancy and eventually handing over of the child will place on you.

A social worker will do an assessment to determine if you have the family support to help you through the process. Indeed, the probing into your private life and the invasion of privacy that is associated with all the assessments are important factors to consider.

As commissioning parents, you will also have to undergo physical, mental and emotional assessments. Then there is the discomfort associated with the provision of gametes and whether such are donated by both or just one partner.

Financial obligations are another surrogacy con to consider. The cost associated with the medical, social, and psychological assessments, the court application, surrogacy agreement, lawyer fees, medical procedures, travel costs, financial compensation for income loss and the hospitalisation are for the commissioning parents. You must thus have considerable capital ready to proceed with surrogacy.

As a surrogate mother you cannot terminate the pregnancy unless for medical reasons and only after discussion with the commissioning parents. If you do so for other reasons, you are accountable for the costs associated with the surrogacy (unless the intended parents are family related). And as surrogate you and your family have no contact rights with the child after the birth and you have no parental rights. The emotional bonding with the child during pregnancy can lead to a feeling of loss when having to hand over the child. As such, it is important to have a supportive family to help you through the period of loss.

The Pros of Surrogacy

Although the disadvantages may seem to be overwhelming, consider the joy you experience of bringing a healthy child into life and doing so for someone who cannot have a child of their own. It is a rewarding experience. Also consider, as commissioning parents, the joy you receive when you at long last have a child of your own who is genetically linked to one or both parents. It will be a life-changing event and one that you will never regret!

While the surrogate does not have contact rights with the child, you can stipulate otherwise in the agreement or decide afterwards to keep contact with her.

Once you have considered all the factors and decide to enter into a surrogacy agreement, get in contact with our legal team for advice and guidance regarding the legal aspects of surrogacy in South Africa.