What is a surrogate mother? A surrogate mother is a woman (gestational/traditional carrier) who carries a baby on behalf of the intended parents. There are two types of surrogacy options, traditional surrogacy, and gestational surrogacy, although nowadays most surrogacies are gestational ones due to the legal complexity of traditional surrogacy where the surrogate mother is genetically linked with the baby. In South Africa gestational surrogacy is the most common one.
The surrogacy process in South Africa only became regulated in 2007 by the Children’s Act, Act 38 of 2005.
Surrogate mother and intended parents need to comply with the Act and have a written surrogacy contract. In this contract, surrogate won’t be allowed any economical compensation for being surrogate, except the expenses associated with the pregnancy. This contract needs to be confirmed by the High Court.
If you are considering pursuing surrogacy in South Africa, you need to know that the gestational/traditional carrier needs to be living in South Africa and if she is married her husband must agree. Also, the prospective intended parents should be domiciled in South Africa and one of the prospective intended parents needs to be genetically linked to the sorrow baby, so either the sperm or the egg must be coming from the intended parent.
In South Africa, children born from a gestational carrier is by law the child of the intended parents and the surrogate and/or her husband has no parental rights.
At least one of the commissioning parents needs to be the biological parent of the child to be born to a surrogate mother.
Because of the sensitive nature of surrogacy and the complexity of the surrogacy regulation in South Africa is mandatory that surrogate mother and intended parents get in contact with a reputable lawyer before starting the process. Also, a lawyer will be needed to draft the agreement.
Whether you are a surrogate mother or a set of intended parents and you are considering to follow a surrogacy process in South Africa it’s really important you learn about the pros and cons, the types of surrogacy options, the local regulation, to ensure that surrogacy and South Africa is the right option for you.
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