Surrogacy ‘consultant’ acted illegally in charging parents, court rules

The judge made it clear commercial surrogacy was unlawful in South Africa and in most other countries.

A woman who was described as “the Florence Nightingale of surrogacy” acted illegally when she charged prospective parents for her services as a coordinator, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has ruled.

Judge Ronel Tolmay said surrogacy coordinator Lee-Ann Strydom had contravened section 301 of the Children’s Act when she charged prospective parents for her services as a surrogacy consultant.

The judge made it clear commercial surrogacy was unlawful in South Africa and in most other countries, with the aim of preventing commercial surrogacy and to prevent the exploitation of underprivileged women.

Strydom, who acted as a surrogate mother herself six times during the past 11 years, trades under the name Destiny Babies and started to offer surrogacy facilitation services in August 2015.

She told the court she worked closely with fertility clinics and medical practitioners and was offered employment at a clinic as a full time surrogacy coordinator in April last year.

Strydom charged two separate couples R5 000 each for her guidance in overseeing the surrogacy “journey”.

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