The need to develop objective criteria for suitability as a surrogate mother: Reflections on Ex Parte KAF
This article points out a problematic lacuna in our law on surrogate motherhood, namely the lack of objective criteria for evaluating the suitability of a surrogate mother. The recent case of Ex Parte KAF – a case in which a surrogate motherhood agreement confirmation application was dismissed by the Johannesburg High Court – demonstrated how this lacuna can cause conceptual disjunction between the court and the clinical psychologist who evaluates the candidate surrogate mother. The solution suggested in this article is that clinical psychologists who evaluate candidate surrogate mothers should give urgent and careful thought to identifying such objective criteria, and start explicitly articulating these criteria in the reports that they file in surrogate motherhood agreement confirmation applications. This practice will give the court the opportunity to engage with such criteria and to develop precedents in this regard.