A high court in South Africa has ruled for the first time that a single man should be legally recognized as the sole parent of a child born through surrogacy.
35-year-old attorney Wesley Hayes started his journey to parenthood as a single gay man six years and seven potential surrogates ago.
After baby Justine was born via surrogacy in 2020, Hayes tried to register his daughter at the office of Home Affairs.
But until his case was decided last week, the formality of registering a baby’s name in South Africa was only available to couples or single mothers.
Now, nearly a year after his daughter was born, the Makhanda High Court has made the ground-breaking ruling that Hayes does have the legal right to register his baby’s birth certificate with his name as the father, and “not applicable” for the mother.
After the ruling, Hayes told TV show Carte Blanche that he believes his case will make the process more simple for other single South African men who use surrogacy to form their own families.
“I think it’s going to make it a lot easier for people who follow,” he said. “They don't have to go through the process we've had to go through, and the angst that has culminated from it.”