Tertia Albertyn, founder of Nurture, an egg donor agency, says that before the implementation of the Children’s Act, Nurture facilitated commercial surrogacy arrangements. “We had applications for surrogate moms that charged anything from between R50 000 to R500 000. But we only chose surrogate moms that charged from R80 000 to R120 000 because we didn’t feel it was ethical to be charging so much,” she says.
The commercial surrogacy money covered all out-of-pocket expenses, monthly living allowance and a fee to the woman for being a surrogate. Friedman explains: “Commercial surrogacy was definitely happening before. But I think your mean average was probably around R80 000 a year, paid in monthly instalments,”
Adds Blank: “Before [the 2005 Children’s Act] a surrogate mom and couple could sit down and discuss how much they wanted to get paid and then they got paid up to R300 000 to carry somebody’s baby, sometimes more. They may have gotten incentives like cars, rental or whatever the case may be.”