I recently read the article of the couple leaving the child with the surrogate because of physical challenges with the child. This is of course heartbreaking and results in questions coming up in all who read such about the process, the controls, the assurances, the ethics, etc.
Some assurances on South African surrogacy:
- Commissioning parents are involved in the pregnancy
- Commissioning parents and surrogates agree upfront, before any treatment proceeds, about the exact decisions that will be taken in the event of unforseen circumstances. If parties to the agreement cannot consent, there is no agreement.
- The surrogacy agreement is upheld at all costs as it has been approved by the High Court and therefore enforceable.
- Commissioning parents have to take parental rights of the child(ren) conceived of surrogacy.
- There is no option for surrogate mothers to be left holding children that they are not in a position to have and are not genetically related to them at all.
- In addition, commissioning parents are compelled to use at least one of their gametes, so the child is genetically related.
- Whilst traditional surrogacy (where the surrogate's eggs are used) is more like adoption, but still requires the initial process of the surrogacy contract, this process is rarely undertaken, if at all.
At the outset the South African Children's Act on Surrogacy is more administrative, but also extensively more controlled and there are no unforseens as the surrogate motherhood agreement makes provision for all.
More on surrogacy online.