Friend agrees to be surrogate mom for childless couple

2013-05-09 00:00

A COUPLE’S ardent quest to have a baby received a second boost yesterday when the Pietermaritzburg High Court confirmed an agreement entitling a friend to become a surrogate mother on their behalf.

It would mean a chance for the husband to be a father for the first time.

The couple, who live in Durban, reached a similar agreement with a different couple in August 2011.

However. the agreement was terminated when the intended surrogate mother did not fall pregnant.

The Witness reported at the time that it was believed to be only the second agreement of its kind to come before the courts in KwaZulu-Natal.

Acting Judge Igna Stretch yesterday confirmed a new agreement reached between the couple and a new set of prospective surrogate parents in April this year.

Their names have not been disclosed for reasons of privacy and to protect the identity of the unborn child.

Clinical psychologists who evaluated the two sets of prospective parents, as well as members of their families, found that they are suitable people to undergo the process and to see it through.

One of the psychologists said both parties felt “comfortable and are eager to move forward” with the process.

In terms of the agreement, the proposed surrogate mother and her husband have undertaken to hand over the baby at birth and relinquish all legal rights over it.

They are entitled only to be compensated for “reasonable and necessary expenses” and won’t derive any income from the deal.

According to the papers, the intended surrogate mother — who is a close friend of the 44-year-old Durban woman who dearly wants a child with her husband of four years — volunteered to help after witnessing her friend’s difficulties during the previous unsuccessful attempts.

The woman wanting a baby already has two children from a previous marriage, but had planned to have a family with her new husband, who does not have children.

A medical procedure which was carried out shortly before the couple’s 2009 wedding caused her to undergo a partial hysterectomy as a result of which she is unable to maintain a pregnancy or give birth to a child herself.

The woman said in court papers that the condition was permanent and irreversible.

She said the previous surrogate motherhood agreement she and her husband concluded with two other parties did not result in a pregnancy.

“Second applicant [her husband] and I would dearly love to have a child of our own,” she said.

In terms of the latest surrogate motherhood agreement, the prospective surrogate mom will be artificially fertilised using gametes from the woman’s husband and an unknown female donor.

The use of gametes from a donor is necessary because the woman’s gametes were found to be medically insufficient.

The surrogate and her husband, who also already have a child of their own, told the psychologist that they had involved their child and other family members in their decision and had their support.

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