Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.

The South African law on surrogacy changed in 2010, from an adoption process of the baby after birth by the biological parents, to an approval process by court order before IVF treatment may start.

The process to apply for an approved court order can take months, depending mostly on the time taken for the parties to see all the necessary persons. The surrogate and the commissioning parents must see the following professionals:

  1. A family lawyer, who will:
    • Draw up a contract between the surrogate and the parents.
    • Draw up a report to the court in the contractual agreement.
    • Present your case to the court.
  2. A clinical psychologist, who
    • Clinically assesses both the surrogate and the parents.
    • Draws up a report for the court.
  3. A social worker, who:
    • Assesses both the surrogate and the parents’ social and ethical environment.
    • Draws up a report for the court.
  4. A fertility specialist, who:
    • Assesses the medical reasons for the need of a surrogate by the parents.
    • Determines the medical fitness of the surrogate to carry a baby or a multiple to term.
    • Understands the medical procedures and risks involved with IVF and pregnancy and birth.
    • Draws up a report for the court.

We have all the necessary professional contacts available for our patients, and help patients with the coordination of the appointments. The costs for all the assessments by each professional and application to the court will be for the commissioning parents’ account and can result in an expensive exercise.

To find a surrogate is not an easy task and the very special women who volunteer are few. Regardless, we assist our patients all the way. There are also online agencies for surrogacy that can help with finding a surrogate mother, and sometimes we have women on file who have volunteered.