About Surrogacy

The Law

Despite the change in law on the 1st of April 2010, when the Children’s Act came into force, surrogacy still remains 100% legal in South Africa. The law was put in place to regulate the surrogacy process and to protect the rights and well being of all parties involved (the surrogate mother, the commissioning parent(s) and the unborn child(ren). The main changes that have occurred as a result of this change in law, applicable to you as a potential surrogate, are the following:

• No surrogacy/fertility treatment may commence unless the high court application has granted its approval of your agreement with the commissioning parent(s)
• Surrogacy may not be done for commercial gain (the surrogate may only claim for loss of income and other expenses incurred as a direct result of the surrogacy/pregnancy).

Each agreement is different and will be based on your individual set of circumstances.
• There is no longer an adoption process after the birth of the baby i.e. the commissioning parent(s) names are entered directly onto the birth certificate.
• You may only be a surrogate for a couple who are domiciled (living) in South Africa

The following documents/ assessment reports will be necessary for the high court application:

• Psychological report for surrogate mother and commissioning parents
• Medical report for commissioning parents with medical proof that they are unable to carry a pregnancy for themselves
• Social worker’s report for surrogate and commissioning parents.Wasserpark
• Surrogacy contract
• Personal identification documents
• Affidavits

Only once the court has approved the case and issued a court order can your treatment commence.
Before the promulgation of this new law, commissioning parents were still required to adopt the baby from the surrogate mother, despite the genetic origin of the baby. The new law states that the commissioning parents’ names go directly onto the birth certificate and an adoption is no longer necessary.chong qi cheng bao

To download the Children’s Act Chapter 19 ‘Surrogate Motherhood’ section, click this link (Chapter19 Surrogate Motherhood Childrens Bill)

Medications and The Medical Procedure

A Surrogate is a woman who agrees to carry and give birth to a baby for an otherwise infertile couple. The most common form of surrogacy is Gestational Surrogacy, whereby the Surrogate is impregnated by means of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). The embryo(s) that will be transferred into the uterus of the Surrogate will have been created in a laboratory using the eggs from the Commissioning Mother (or donor) and sperm of the Commissioning Father (or donor). This means that the embryo and resulting baby will not be genetically related to the surrogate mother at all.

Before proceeding with the IVF, the surrogate will undergo a full medical examination. This examination will include:

• Blood tests
• Vaginal and abdominal ultrasounds
• A Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) which is an x-ray of the uterus. This procedure is usually carried out during the first week of your cycle and involves the insertion of a tiny camera through the cervix to check the inside of the uterus. It is done in the doctors room – no anaesthetic or sedation is required

A variety of medications and procedures are utilized in order to achieve pregnancy. These medications may include tablets, injections and pessaries. The menstrual cycles of the commissioning mother or egg donor and the surrogate are “synchronized” using short acting hormonal medication. This is usually done within one to three weeks of a cycle start. In this way, the uterus of the surrogate is prepared to follow the progress of the commissioning mother’s (or egg donor’s) egg production, so that the resulting embryos can be successfully transferred to the womb of the surrogate. These embryos are transferred by means of a very fine catheter into your uterus.

You will be advised to rest for approximately 24 hours. You will have a blood test ten days later to determine whether a pregnancy has been achieved. If so, you will be advised about what further medication/hormone support will be necessary, and for how long.

Once the pregnancy is considered stable (usually after the first trimester/3 months), you and your commissioning parent(s) will be referred to a gynaecologist/obstetrician for the remainder of the pregnancy and the birth.