Surrogacy in Cameroon is an assisted reproductive treatment in which a woman (surrogate) carries a child in her uterus on behalf of another person. For some prospective parents in Cameroon having difficulties to carry and bear a child, surrogacy turns to be their only hope of having a child. Hence this practice has been growing over the years in order to put smiles on the faces of prospective parents. However, experience has shown that the regime of surrogacy is best managed through properly executed surrogacy contracts in Cameroon.

Some marriages in Cameroon have been rescued by the use of surrogacy techniques to bear children. The thought of a family not able to procreate a child has been regarded as a stigma which usually leads to instability in the family in the long term. More so as the husband is often encouraged to marry another woman or have children out of the marriage. Hence fingers are most often pointed towards the wife as the cause for the inability of the family to have children. As a consequence, the aspect of divorce begins to loom within the family circle.

Reasons for Surrogacy in Cameroon

Surrogacy is often a choice made when women are unable to carry children on their own. The reasons could be as follows;

  • An abnormal uterus
  • A complete absence of the uterus
  • Complications in child birth such as heavy bleeding or ruptured uterus
  • Medical disease such as cervical cancer or endometrial cancer
  • Multiple miscarriages.

Types of Surrogacy methods in Cameroon

Surrogacy can either be traditional or gestational in method and the difference is based on genetic origin. The types of surrogacy include;

  • Traditional Surrogacy: Also known as natural, partial or straight surrogacy is one where the surrogate’s egg is fertilized by the intended father’s or donor’s sperm. The insemination of the surrogate is either through sex (natural insemination) or artificial insemination.
  • Gestational Surrogacy: Also known as host or full surrogacy takes place when an embryo created by in-vitro fertilization (IVF) technology is implanted in a surrogate, sometimes called a gestational carrier. Gestational surrogacy has several forms, and in each form, the resulting child is genetically unrelated to the surrogate.

Surrogacy Contract in Cameroon

The surrogacy contract sometimes called a surrogate agreement is a binding legal document that guides the entire surrogacy process for intended parents and surrogates. These formal contracts prevent miscommunication and disputes; set clear boundaries, timelines and expectation; protect everyone involved – the surrogate, the intended parents and the baby.

Reasons for a Surrogacy Contract

  1. It protects the surrogate

The surrogate is assured of physical, legal, financial and emotional protection from a fully executed surrogacy contract. This because the medical procedures will be clearly outlined as per what the surrogate will prefer. The contract will protect the surrogate from unreasonable demands from intended parents as her responsibilities will be clearly outlined. The surrogate will also be absolved from unwanted post birth rights and responsibilities to the intended parent’s child. The surrogate will not also end up paying for the costly medical process and she will receive fair compensation at clearly defined periods.

  1. It will be couched as per your situation

Situations surrounding a surrogacy contract are quite different on a case by case basis. The risk of a sample contract being downloaded, signed and notarized is that it may not meet the specificity of the present situation. It is therefore advisable for parties to solicit the services of a surrogate attorney who will draft the contract to meet the precise needs of the present situation and ensure all parties are protected.

  1. Each party can be individually represented by separate surrogacy attorneys.

Hence ensuring that the surrogacy contract is a fair and equal reflection of everyone’s needs.

  1. It protects the intended parents

Surrogate contracts identify the child’s true legal parents (irrespective of if they are genetically related to the baby) and protect the rights and responsibilities that come with that role. It also protects the intended parents financially and emotionally.

Without these protections granted by a fully executed surrogacy agreement, the intended parents could end up spending much more time and money trying to establish their rights to their child in post-birth litigation proceedings.

  1. It clearly states each person’s rights, responsibilities and roles throughout the process and beyond

This is one of the best ways to ensure a healthy, positive and enjoyable relationship between the intended parents and surrogate.

Prospective clients usually ask the following questions;

  1. What will happen if the parties to the surrogacy contract break their legal engagement?
  2. Can such agreement be made under informal and verbal circumstances?
  3. Are there differences between gestational surrogacy contracts and traditional surrogacy contracts?
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