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Factors Contributing to the Cost of Surrogacy in South Africa

If you and your partner want a child of your own, but for medical reasons are unable to conceive and/or carry the child to birth then surrogacy is an alternative. Apart from the legal requirements it is imperative to consider the cost of surrogacy in South Africa.

Fortunately in this country surrogacy cannot be done for commercial gain. This helps to reduce the cost of surrogacy since in countries where such is allowed, surrogates and clinics often charge high fees, but the law in South Africa states that you can only compensate the surrogate for medical expenses, loss of income during the pregnancy and directly related costs such as travelling. You cannot provide the surrogate with monthly compensation.

As commissioning parents you are responsible for the legal fees related to the drafting of the agreement and application to the High Court. You are also responsible for the fees related to:

  • Medical assessment of the health of the surrogate.
  • Medical tests to determine whether or not you as a couple are able to conceive and give birth to a child.
  • Hospitalisation and medical costs directly associated with the childbirth.
  • Psychological assessments of the surrogate to determine her mental and emotional stability.
  • Social worker assessments of the surrogate.
  • Life policy for the surrogate.


Note that you will also be responsible for the cost of the IVF treatments. It may take several treatments before successful conception and birthing. The average cost of IVF ranges anything from R33 000 to R50 000 (2015). The surrogacy agreement should stipulate which expenses are payable as this will protect you from unpleasant surprises regarding financial compensation in future.

You will need to find a surrogate that is willing to go through the process for altruistic reasons. Considering what is involved, not many people are willing or are eligible to become surrogates.  Your best options are to contact a fertility clinic or a surrogate lawyer for assistance in locating a suitable candidate. Friends and family members are also suitable candidates. Note that the surrogate must meet specific criteria such as:

  • Having at least one living child.
  • Having successfully given birth to a living child before.
  • Being in good health, able to carry the child to birth.
  • Being mentally and emotionally stable and able to handle the strains of surrogacy.
  • Being in the right age group.


Her partner must provide consent to the surrogacy and she must reside in South Africa at the time of signing the agreement. The surrogacy process may not proceed unless the High Court approves the agreement. For such you will need to make use of a medical law attorney to draft the agreement and apply for approval from Court and should keep such in mind when calculating the cost of surrogacy in South Africa. The attorney will provide you with details regarding the process and documents required.

Though the cost of surrogacy in South Africa should be considered before embarking on the route the prospect of having a child of your own is often the best reward possible.

Contact us at Adele van der Walt Incorporated for legal advice and assistance in setting up the surrogacy agreement.


Note that the information in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be seen as an attempt to provide legal advice. We strongly recommend that you contact us at Adele van der Walt Incorporated for professional legal advice.