Top 5 surrogacy destinations for residents of South Africa

Opting for surrogacy presents a profound decision for couples in South Africa. This transformative journey is recognized as a demanding process, testing the resolve and fortitude of those who dream of parenthood.

Hence, apart from mustering strength, love, and patience to confront the potential obstacles along the way, it is equally important to be financially prepared for the entirety of the surrogacy process.

Although it is understandable why surrogacy is an expensive process, no matter which destination you choose to carry it out, many intended parents wonder where it’s possible to save money.

In this article, we present a selection of the best destinations to make surrogacy more affordable, taking into account the advantages and disadvantages of each country.

1. Colombia 

Colombia has garnered acclaim as a premier destination for surrogacy, lauded for its warm hospitality, convenient accessibility, and affordability. Family Aims, a respected international surrogacy agency, offers holistic support to prospective parents from South Africa, managing all legal and medical procedures within Colombia. Their unwavering commitment to cost transparency ensures that expenses align with the agreed-upon budget, demonstrating their steadfast dedication to ensuring a seamless surrogacy experience.

The exceptional reputation of Babynova Clinic by Novafem, an affiliated clinic with vast expertise in assisted gestation, adds further credibility to the remarkable experience provided.

Surrogacy waiting lists in Colombia are notably shorter, with an extension of 2 to 3 months compared to other clinics worldwide. This provides a significant advantage for parents who are keen to initiate the process expeditiously.

And also helps to reduce the overall cost, which starts at $65,000 USD, making Colombia an attractive option for those looking for low-cost surrogacy with greater accessibility.

2. United States 

Although the United States is one of the countries with the largest surrogacy offer in the world and has expert agencies and specialized clinics, surrogacy treatments in this country are often expensive for foreigners, who must obtain a specific visa, (which can be costly or, sometimes, depending on the nationality of the intended parents, completely inaccessible).

Even for residents, surrogacy in the United States can be a costly endeavor due to the need to relocate between states. The lack of consistent regulations for surrogacy across the country results in additional expenses related to these interstate moves, ultimately inflating the overall surrogacy budget.

It is also important to keep in mind that, in addition to the costs related to the visa and requirements of each state legislation, the number of attempts included in each plan and the additional tests, can be factors of a high increase in expenses.

Therefore, it is to be taken into account that the costs may even exceed 200,000 USD, a figure that may increase depending on the surrogacy method chosen, as well as on the number of attempts included.

3. Georgia 

Surrogacy in Georgia offers affordability, yet it’s important to note that this option is exclusively available to heterosexual couples with a relationship of at least one year.

Georgia offers affordable surrogacy options; however, it’s important to note that this treatment is exclusively available to heterosexual couples who have been in a relationship for at least one year. The base cost of surrogacy in Georgia is 55,000 USD. Nevertheless, the recently enacted legislation in 2024 prohibits surrogacy for foreigners, thus restricting access to this treatment to same-sex couples and foreigners who opt for surrogacy within the country.

Considering the current restrictive legislation in Georgia, which imposes various complications even for the country’s residents, this destination may be a viable option in terms of legality but proves to be challenging for those interested in accessing surrogacy services.

4. Cyprus

Several European countries provide their residents with highly affordable surrogacy options. Cyprus, for instance, is host to specialized clinics that offer surrogacy procedures at approximately 65,000 USD, making it an attractive choice for individuals seeking cost-effective surrogacy within Europe.

Nevertheless, the high demand for surrogacy procedures coupled with a small local population results in limited candidate availability. As a consequence, there is often a need to expand the search beyond the country’s borders to find suitable surrogates to carry out the procedure.

As a result of this restriction, foreigners who seek to become gestational carriers are required to travel to a different country to give birth to the newborn. This, in turn, raises the costs, risks, and legal fees associated with the surrogacy process.

In addition, the amount of paperwork for those intended parents who do not have European nationality is huge, and requires additional expenses to access certain services and to move freely during the procedures.

Therefore, surrogacy in this country is an option that requires careful financial planning.

5. Mexico

Among the Latin American nations, Mexico stands as one of the exceptions that permits surrogacy, although comprehensive regulations are only clearly defined in a handful of states.

This indicates that individuals interested in surrogacy must travel to these specific regions to undergo the procedure, or take the risk of attempting it in another state with uncertain legal processes.

In addition, the increase in demand for this service and legal limitations in the rest of the country make the process more expensive, around 55 000 USD, and unlike other surrogacy places, the staff is not always specialized.

Moreover, obtaining the necessary documentation for the baby can be compromised due to legal limitations in certain states where surrogacy is not fully legalized. This situation leads to increased expenses due to the need for additional documentation and potential transportation complications.

Although for residents living near states where surrogacy is allowed, the lack of training in some healthcare facilities may add complications for foreign parents traveling to these states for the first time, as they do not have the necessary guarantees of social security, like other countries.

Despite surrogacy being allowed in the indicated states, the demand for this procedure there is usually quite low as they are not tourist destinations, and don’t have great economic investment, which may dissuade foreigners from choosing this destination as the ideal one for surrogacy.

Competitive pricing for residents of South Africa

For many couples, creating a family is an incredibly meaningful endeavor, and they are willing to spare no expense, considering it the most beautiful and rewarding project they can embark on together.

However, it’s vital to be able to have a plan and anticipate any setback that may generate complications in any of its members, as well as affect the emotional and economic stability of its members.

With a multitude of surrogacy options available, it’s vital to make a well-considered decision that extends beyond mere pricing. It’s important to select a destination that maximizes the likelihood of realizing the dream of parenthood, particularly for residents of South Africa.