Wednesday 8 May 2024


Surrogacy in African society today represents a blend of cultural, traditional, and modern perspectives, with variations across different regions and ethnic groups. Here, we'll explore some general themes that are common in discussions about surrogacy in African societies.

Cultural and Traditional Perspectives:

1. Emphasis on Family and Lineage: Many African cultures place a strong emphasis on family, lineage, and the continuity of the family name. Traditional beliefs and customs often prioritize biological ties in determining family relationships and inheritance.

2. Role of Women and Motherhood: Women often hold central roles in African societies, including the role of motherhood. Traditional views on childbirth, fertility, and parenting can influence attitudes towards surrogacy, as it challenges conventional notions of biological motherhood.

3. Community and Extended Family Support: African cultures often value community and extended family support networks. Child-rearing responsibilities may extend beyond biological parents to include a wider network of relatives, which can influence perceptions of surrogacy.

Modernity and Changing Norms:

1. Medical Advancements: Advances in reproductive technology have made surrogacy a viable option for individuals and couples facing infertility challenges or medical conditions that affect pregnancy.

2. Changing Family Structures: Modern African societies are witnessing shifts in family structures, including single-parent households, blended families, and same-sex couples. Surrogacy offers an alternative path to parenthood for these diverse family units.

3. Legal and Ethical Considerations: With the rise of surrogacy, there is a growing need for legal frameworks and ethical guidelines to regulate surrogacy arrangements, protect the rights of all parties involved, and prevent exploitation.

Challenges and Considerations:

1. Cultural Sensitivities: Discussions about surrogacy in African societies must navigate cultural sensitivities, respect traditional values, and promote understanding across diverse perspectives.

2. Gender Roles and Empowerment: Surrogacy raises questions about women's autonomy, reproductive rights, and empowerment. Ensuring informed consent, fair compensation, and healthcare access for surrogate mothers are critical considerations.

3. Community Acceptance: Public awareness campaigns, education initiatives, and dialogue within communities can help foster acceptance and understanding of surrogacy while addressing concerns and misconceptions.


A child born through traditional surrogacy, where the surrogate mother contributes her own egg along with carrying the pregnancy, can inherit genetic traits from the surrogate mother. This is because the surrogate mother is also the biological mother in this type of surrogacy arrangement. In contrast, in gestational surrogacy, the surrogate mother carries an embryo created using the genetic material of the intended parents or donors, so the child inherits genetic traits from the intended parents or donors, not the surrogate mother.

In cases of traditional surrogacy, the child shares genetic material with the surrogate mother, including mitochondrial DNA and potentially some genetic traits inherited from her. However, the legal and social considerations regarding parental rights and inheritance can vary based on the specific laws and regulations of the country or jurisdiction involved. It's important for individuals considering surrogacy to seek legal guidance and understand the implications regarding parental rights and genetic inheritance in their specific context.

In summary, surrogacy in African society today reflects a complex interplay of cultural, traditional, and modern influences. Balancing respect for cultural values, women's rights, legal frameworks, and medical advancements is essential in navigating the evolving landscape of surrogacy in Africa.

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