Wijnland surrogacy in Cape Town

Surrogate mothers are incredibly special women who choose to assist others on their journey to parenthood, expecting nothing in return except the joy of helping another couple start their family.

For would-be parents, finding a suitable surrogate to carry their baby for them can be utterly life-changing, giving them the chance to have children of their own when they thought all hope was lost.

Here we’ll provide information on how surrogacy works, what the legal process involves for families and surrogates, and how Wijnland can help.
What is surrogacy?

Surrogate mothers, or gestational surrogates, are commissioned by a couple who cannot have children of their own. 

Usually this is because the female partner has an irreversible medical condition which makes carrying a baby dangerous for her, has suffered a number of miscarriages, or is unable to fall pregnant. 

Gay couples may also choose to make use of a surrogacy clinic like Wijnland to have a child who is biologically related to one of the fathers.

Types of surrogacy

There are two main forms of surrogacy – traditional surrogacy and gestational (or full) surrogacy. 


1. Traditional surrogacy

In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate’s own eggs are fertilised with the male partner’s sperm, either naturally or through artificial insemination.  

It is important to note that traditional surrogacies do not offer the commissioning parents full legal rights to the child under South African law.

This is because the surrogate is also the biological mother of the child, and therefore has the option to terminate the surrogacy arrangement if she wishes, and obtain parental responsibilities and rights through the court. 

For this reason, Wijnland typically discourages our patients from taking the traditional surrogacy route.


2. Gestational surrogacy / Full surrogacy

Unlike a traditional surrogacy, the commissioning parents provide the egg(s) to be fertilised with the male partner’s sperm. 

In this way, the surrogate has no biological relationship to the child, and the commissioning parents have full parental rights to the baby from the moment the embryo transfer if performed. 

  • The commissioning mother’s own eggs are normally used, or they may be provided by a donor if she is unable to use her own for medical reasons, or is over the age of 39. 
  • Alternatively, the commissioning mother may provide the egg(s), and a sperm donor may be used if the male partner is infertile.  

Under South African law, at least one of the commissioning parents (either the mother or father) must be biologically related to the child. Because of the legal protection this option provides, Wijnland encourages all our would-be parents to pursue gestational surrogacy.

Surrogacy FAQ
Why do couples / individuals use surrogates in South Africa?

The most common reason for choosing to use a surrogate mother in South Africa is when the female partner has a medical complication which makes becoming pregnant, retaining a pregnancy, or giving birth dangerous for her. 

These could include:

  • Infertility – uterine issues, endometriosis, early menopause, ovulation problems, fallopian tube damage or blockage, or severe PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) may all prevent a woman from getting pregnant. If these conditions cannot be treated through medication or surgery, using a surrogate provides another way to have a biological child.
  • Repeated miscarriages. Miscarriages are extremely traumatic for both partners, and while fertility science is improving all the time, sometimes it’s simply not possible to identify or treat the underlying cause.
  • Cancer treatment. In some cases, such as after cancer treatment which requires her to have a hysterectomy, the female partner may simply not be able to have her own children at all.
  • After several unsuccessful rounds of IVF or other ART (Assisted Reproductive Therapies).
  • Sterilisation. Most sterilisation procedures can be reversed, but if this is not the case, then a surrogate may be used.
  • Pre-existing health conditions or chronic medications. Pregnancy places significant strain on a woman’s body, and some conditions can make carrying a baby to term very dangerous to a woman’s health. These might include heart, lung, or kidney problems. She may also require chronic medications which she cannot stop taking, but which are known to cause harm to an unborn foetus. 

Every case is unique, and deciding whether or not to use a surrogate can be a complex choice. If you have any questions, please contact us and arrange to come in for a consultation. 

Wijnland’s goal is helping you to start your family in the safest possible way, and our fertility and surrogacy experts in Cape Town are on hand to offer counselling and world class medical advice!

Why do women choose to become surrogate mothers?

Many mothers are deeply moved by the plight of other women who cannot carry their own babies, and feel a calling to give back and share the joy of motherhood with others. 

If they are healthy, and their own pregnancy and childbirth was relatively easy, then becoming a surrogate can be an immensely rewarding experience. Having experienced the joy of helping to bring a new life into the world, surrogacy is the perfect way to share that gift with couples desperate for their own child. 

In South Africa, surrogate mothers can be compensated for their medical expenses and costs relating to the pregnancy, but any additional payment is not legal.

Are you drawn to the idea of becoming a surrogate mother?

Please get in touch with us, or download our PDF application form.

How does surrogacy law work in South Africa?

While we suggest all our potential surrogates and commissioning couples seek professional legal assistance before embarking on this path, there are a few key legalities worth noting: 

  • Compensation for surrogates over and above reasonable costs directly related to the pregnancy, (IVF, legal fees, and monthly expenses while she is off work) is illegal in South Africa
  • A gestational surrogate has no legal rights or responsibilities to the child
  • A gestational surrogate must have at least one living child of her own before becoming a surrogate for another couple
  • Being a surrogate in South Africa means the mother reserves the right to terminate the pregnancy if it has become dangerous to her health to continue  
  • Once the surrogacy court order is in place, the commissioning parents may not reverse their decision to take the baby
  • Surrogates must undergo a screening process which includes a medical and psychological assessment, and have no criminal record
Do you offer a surrogacy centre near me?

Wijnland mainly assists with surrogacy in Cape Town, but we regularly work with patients from all around the globe.

Becoming a surrogate in South Africa


Helping another couple start their family is an incredibly selfless and brave thing to do, as well as being an opportunity, quite literally, to change people’s lives. If you are considering becoming one of these remarkable women, please get in touch or download an application form. We salute you!

Before you sign up
Please remember that one of the most important requirements is that you have a child of your own before you are eligible to be considered as a surrogate.

The following criteria questionnaire is based on the Children’s Act 295 of 2005 in order to be a surrogate. Please complete the below questions truthfully and to the best of your knowledge and ability. This is only to determine your suitability prior to commencing the process of becoming a surrogate mother.


Surrogate Questionnaire

Surrogate Questionnaire

I still have a viable and healthy uterus
I am under the age of 40
I am competent to enter into a surrogacy agreement with the commissioning parent/s
I am in all respects a suitable person to act as a surrogate mother
I understand and accept the legal consequences of the agreement and the Act and her rights and obligations in terms thereof
I am not using surrogacy as a source of income
I enter into the agreement for altruistic reasons and not for commercial purposes
I have a documented history of at least one pregnancy and viable delivery
I have a living child of my own
We’d love to answer them! Please feel free to get in touch, or book an appointment to see one of our fertility specialists. Take the first step towards building the family of your dreams today.