Frequently Asked Questions
Often it is because the intended mother has no uterus e.g. the woman has had a hysterectomy or has an abnormal uterus which prevents her from carrying a baby of her own.
There are also many gay couples who long to be parents and have a family of their own. For obvious reasons, they are unable to become pregnant and therefore rely on the generosity of a surrogate mother to do it for them.
Q. How will I know if I am a suitable candidate for surrogacy?
A. There are certain criteria that are essential from a legal and medical point of view:
• You must have had at least one pregnancy and viable birth
• You must have a living child of your own
• You must be in good physical, emotional and mental health
Q. Have the laws changed and how will this affect me as a surrogate?
A. On the 1st of April 2010, the Children’s Act came into force in South Africa and changed the surrogacy process in many ways. This act was put in place to protect the rights of all parties involved in the surrogacy agreement. The most important regulations that will affect you as a surrogate are as follows:
• The surrogacy agreement between you and the commissioning parent(s) (CP’s) will have to be confirmed and authorised by the high court before any treatment can commence
• You will need the written consent of your husband or partner to act as a surrogate
• You may not use surrogacy as a source of income or for commercial purposes
• You may only be a surrogate for altruistic reasons
• You may be compensated for expenses that relate directly to the surrogacy
• You may claim for reasonable and appropriate loss of earnings that result from the surrogacy/pregnancy/birth
• The commissioning parents will provide you with and pay for a medical aid and life policy that will cover you during the surrogacy and usually for 3 months following the birth
• You will have no rights to the child after birth
• The commissioning parent’s names will be entered directly onto the birth certificate after the birth, therefore there is no longer a need for adoption
Q. What is involved in the High Court Application?
A. The following documents (amongst others) will be collated by the attorneys and presented to the high court for approval:
• The surrogacy agreement, as drawn up by the attorney, between you and your CP’s
• A psychological report and a social worker’s report for you and the CP’s – you will be referred to a psychologist and social worker for these assessments
• A medical report for both yourself and the CP’s from the fertility specialist
• An affidavit signed by you (and your husband or partner where applicable)
Q. Will they use my eggs/will I be in any way genetically related to the baby?
A. No, this form of surrogacy (‘Traditional Surrogacy’) was practiced in the past, but is seldom (if ever) done nowadays.
The surrogacy that you will be doing is called ‘Gestational Surrogacy’, whereby the eggs and sperm are provided by the commissioning parents (or a donor if the commissioning parent is unable to produce eggs/sperm).
Q. How much contact will I have with the Commissioning Parents?
A. The Surrogate and Commissioning Parents can have as much contact as they choose to. The clinic will endeavour to match you with a couple who can meet your needs as closely as possible and have similar expectations of the relationship.
Q. What will I have to pay for?
A. All of your expenses related to the Surrogacy will be covered by the Commissioning Parents, they will cover the costs for all your medical expenses that are not covered by your Medical Aid. They will also cover all the legal fees involved in drawing up the surrogacy contract, as well as any counselling that you may require.
Q. What financial support can I expect?
A. In terms of the New Children’s Act, surrogacy can only be done for altruistic reasons and not for commercial gain. This means that you may claim for any expenses that are directly related to the surrogacy/pregnancy and you may claim for loss of income. The commissioning parents will cover the cost of a medical aid for the duration of your pregnancy/birth, including a few months post-partum. A life insurance policy will also be provided by the commissioning couple for the duration of the surrogacy.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to email us on firstname.lastname@example.org