Currently, there is no federal law in the US that governs surrogacy. It’s left to the discretion of each individual state. There are several states which are considered surrogacy-friendly in America, a few where it’s illegal, and many others that are in a gray area. We’ve put together this guide to help you better understand surrogacy laws by state, but please note that you should consult a qualified attorney before proceeding with any surrogacy arrangement.
Understanding Surrogacy Laws in the USA
There are many legal considerations to take into account when entering into a surrogacy agreement, both for the intended parents and for the surrogate. Legal contracts are needed to define the journey every step of the way, from hiring a gestational surrogate to establishing legal parentage rights.
Hiring Gestational Surrogates
Sometimes called a Carrier Agreement, Surrogacy Contract, or the Gestational Surrogacy Agreement (GSA) this legal contract is an essential guiding document for the entire surrogacy journey.
A gestational surrogacy agreement is designed to protect both the interests of the IPs and the surrogate so that the journey will go as smoothly as possible.
Keep in mind that the drafting of this contract will not happen overnight: the average drafting, editing, and negotiation process can take 3 weeks to 2 months. After the initial draft, your attorney must send it to the surrogate’s attorney to review the agreement with the surrogate. This back and forth can sometimes take a while, but the protections you all receive are well worth the wait.
In any hospital in the United States, the woman who gives birth to a baby is assumed to be the mother of the child. Logistically for security and liability purposes, it is easier for the hospital to trace who the baby was birthed from versus who the child’s intended parents are. This makes sense in most situations – just not in the case of gestational surrogacy.
With surrogacy, you need to have legal orders in place to make clear who the parents are. You’ll need a legal declaration that the intended parents, and not the surrogate, are the legal parent(s) of the child.
How and when you go about obtaining such orders will depend on where the baby will be born. Parentage orders cover the child’s custody from birth on.
Without a legal order of parentage, the intended parents can’t take the baby home from the hospital, add him or her to their health insurance, or make any legal or medical decisions for the child. As you can imagine, having a complete and binding order of parentage is of the utmost importance.
Pre vs. Post-Birth Orders
The most surrogacy-friendly states allow this document to be created and signed while the surrogate is pregnant. Others, however, require the baby to be born first. Find out if the state in question is known for being a pre-birth or a post-birth order state, keeping in mind that most states leave it up to the courts to decide. That means a ruling could vary county by county. You can see a list of how things stand at the time this was written; however, be sure to consult your attorney as laws can change at any time.
If the state of birth allows for pre-birth orders, most attorneys advise getting this completed during the second trimester, in case the baby is born prematurely.
Post-Birth Legal Actions
A post-birth order is required in a state where a non-biological parent must be added to the child’s birth certificate after the baby is born – think same-sex couples and couples who utilize donor gametes. The post-birth order will be changed to reflect the correct parentage, but it may require a court appearance by the parents and the surrogate.
After the child is born, your lawyer will petition the court to name you as the legal parents. They will also require that the surrogate’s name be removed from the birth certificate and replaced with yours.
These orders typically go through without complication, especially when there has been a solid GSA in place and all parties agree about the outcome. However, some of the most restrictive states have laws on the books to make it difficult for same-sex couples or non-married couples to be legally named as parents. In certain cases, the non-biological parent may have to complete a second-parent adoption through the court system.
Surrogacy Friendly States
Where are the most surrogacy-friendly states in America? Let’s look at the specifics of state surrogacy laws.
In Alabama, the courts are favorable toward gestational surrogacy. That is to say, no statute or published case law prevents it.
Similarly, the courts are favorable toward traditional (genetic) surrogacy in Alabama; again, no statute or published case law prohibits it.
Pre-birth orders can sometimes be provided prior to birth, but conditions vary based on the county. A post-birth order needs to be provided before the couple is discharged from the hospital. Unmarried or same-sex couples may face difficulty obtaining a pre-birth order.
In Arkansas, the law is highly favorable toward gestational surrogacy. Arkansas’ statute on surrogacy does not specifically cover gestational surrogacy, but it is allowed in Arkansas and practiced on a regular basis.
Similarly, traditional (genetic) surrogacy in Arkansas is permitted; no case law in Arkansas prohibits traditional or gestational surrogacy.
Pre-birth orders are regularly granted without complication in Arkansas. Unmarried couples where one or both have no genetic link to the child may face difficulty obtaining a parentage order. Second parent adoption may be required.
California is one of the friendliest states for surrogacy, with specific state statutes and case law to uphold surrogacy agreements.
Traditional (genetic) surrogacy in California is permitted; while not covered under the same statute as gestational surrogacy, no existing law prohibits it.
An intended parent can file a parentage order, either pre-birth or post-birth, but the decision to grant it would be at the discretion of the court. California courts regularly grant parentage orders regardless of sexual orientation, marital status, or biological relationship.
Family Inceptions is a surrogacy agency that has been assisting families with the California surrogacy process for years. There are many steps for those seeking surrogacy, and we’re here to guide California surrogates and intended parents through the process.
Contact us here to get started.
In Colorado, there is no established law regarding gestational surrogacy. Historically, courts have ruled favorably for intended parents whether married or not, single or partnered, same sex or hetero, and whether a child is born via donated egg, sperm or embryos.
Similarly, traditional (genetic) surrogacy in Colorado is permitted; no existing statute or case law prohibits it.
Colorado courts typically grant pre-birth orders without complication.
Family Inceptions works with many families in Colorado who are seeking a surrogacy journey. We provide assistance to intended parents and surrogates interested in completing a surrogacy journey in Denver or the surrounding cities.
Connecticut state law permits gestational surrogacy. Intended parents are legally permitted to enter into a gestational agreement with a surrogate, according to Conn. Gen. St. Rev. § 7-36 (13).
It is important to note that in Connecticut, a court hearing will be required to obtain a pre-birth order at which all parties – parents and carrier and carrier’s spouse included – must (absent extenuating circumstances) attend.
There is no existing statute or case law in Connecticut that prohibits traditional (genetic) surrogacy, and therefore parties may enter into such arrangements in Connecticut. Unlike with gestational surrogacy, however, a pre-birth order cannot be obtained in a traditional surrogacy.
Connecticut is considered a surrogacy-friendly state for all intended parents, regardless of marital status, sexual orientation, or biological connection.
At Family Inceptions,we’ve been assisting families with the Connecticut surrogacy process for years. Providing assistance to intended parents and surrogates interested in completing a surrogacy journey in Stamford or the surrounding cities, our company walks everyone involved through each step.
Gestational surrogacy is legally allowed in Delaware and is regulated by the state’s Gestational Carrier Agreement Act. It dictates that, so long as all conditions are met, the gestational surrogate is not a parent to a child born of such an agreement. Parentage rights and responsibilities legally belong to the intended parents.
The law also outlines certain requirements for gestational surrogates, including age and medical considerations, as well as outlining exactly what the IPs must provide for their surrogate in terms of healthcare and legal counsel.
Traditional surrogacy (where the surrogate is genetically related to the child) is not addressed within the Delaware Gestational Carrier Agreement Act; however, there are no explicit laws against the practice.
Petitions for pre-birth orders are now routinely granted to intended parents, regardless of marital status, sexual orientation, or biological relation.
Family Inceptions serves intended parents and surrogates in Delaware. If you live in Delaware and are considering surrogacy, reach out to our team to see how we can help.
In Florida, gestational surrogacy is permitted only if the Intended Parents are a married couple with one member of the couple being genetically related to the child.
Other intended parents (such as single people or unmarried couples) can participate in surrogacy in Florida, through the execution of a Preplanned Adoption Agreement. Preplanned Adoption Agreements are similar to Gestational Surrogacy Agreements, but there are certain nuances and differences.
Traditional (genetic) surrogacy in Florida is also permitted in the form of a Preplanned Adoption Agreement from a “volunteer mother.” Unlike gestational surrogacy, these sorts of agreements are permitted for intended parents of all marital statuses. However, a traditional surrogate’s consent is revocable for up to 48 hours after birth, due to her genetic connection to the child. In any traditional surrogacy arrangement, we recommend proceeding with caution.
Family Inceptions has been serving families going through the Florida surrogacy process for years. Whether you’re seeking surrogacy services in Orlando or Tampa, Miami or Jacksonville, we’re here to help.
Georgia has no defined surrogacy laws. Therefore, in Georgia, gestational surrogacy is permitted because no statute or prior case law prohibits it.
Similarly, traditional (genetic) surrogacy in Georgia is permitted because no laws expressly prohibit it.
Courts in Georgia do grant pre-birth orders to intended parents, easing their path to being designated legal parents. Same-Sex couples are treated the same as heterosexual couples under the statute and they can be married or unmarried and use their own genetics and/or donors.
Family Inceptions was Georgia’s first surrogacy agency established in 2008 to aid local families and surrogates looking to complete the journey of surrogacy in Atlanta as well as the surrounding cities. We help families from metro Atlanta, to Dalton, Athens on down to Savannah. We are a full-service Surrogacy and Egg Donation agency, providing both surrogates and egg donors for intended parents across the state. While we have general guidelines, we make sure to individualize plans intended for specific timelines, preferences, and locations.
We are headquartered in Atlanta, which means local Atlanta intended parents and surrogates can get the extra-personalized treatment. We work with families and individuals all across the country, but our local Atlanta folks are very special to us! Contact our team to learn more.
In Hawaii, gestational surrogacy is permitted because there are no statutes or prior case law which prohibit it.
Traditional (genetic) surrogacy in Hawaii is legally unclear and should be embarked upon with caution or an expectation to evaluate the issue in court.
Hawaii courts do not grant pre-birth orders regarding parentage. Intended Parents wishing to be declared the legal parents of a child born of surrogacy, must do so after the child is born.
In Illinois, gestational surrogacy is permitted under the Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act. It’s a surrogacy-friendly statute that guides the process from contract formation, to qualification of the surrogate, and through the issuance of the birth certificate. It applies to arrangements in which one or both intended parents has contributed a gamete to form the embryo.
Traditional (genetic) surrogacy in Illinois is not covered under this statute; it is permitted because no statute or case law prohibits it.
Same sex couples can enter into a gestational surrogacy contract together and both be named as Co-Parents on the birth certificate.
Family Inceptions is a surrogacy agency that has been assisting families with the Illinois surrogacy process for years. Providing assistance to intended parents and surrogates interested in completing a surrogacy journey in Chicago or the surrounding cities, our company walks everyone involved through each step.
In Iowa, gestational surrogacy is implicitly permitted by Iowa Code § 710.11. This code prohibits the sale or purchase of humans, but it exempts traditional surrogacy arrangements by name.
A 2018 Iowa Supreme Court case ruled that gestational surrogacy arrangements were enforceable, and did not violate the rights of the carrier, the rights of the child, or public policy.
Traditional (genetic) surrogacy in Iowa is similarly permissible by state law, including the Supreme Court case.
To establish parentage following a birth from a surrogate other steps may be needed depending on the genetic connections of the intended parents to the child:, including a Termination of Parental Rights, paternity action, and/or adoption.
In Kansas, gestational surrogacy isn’t governed by a state law, but it’s permitted because no statute or case law prevents it. Courts are known to regularly issue pre-birth orders. Generally,
Traditional (genetic) surrogacy in Kansas is similarly permissible because no law prevents it. However, there are strict guidelines that govern how contracts are set up in regard to compensation and payment. Failure to comply with those laws can lead to criminal penalties.
Intended parents who are in no way related to the resulting child, are able to get a pre-birth order declaring themselves as legal parents under certain state statutes. They may still be able to be declared legal parents of a child by going through an adoption process.
In Kentucky, gestational surrogacy isn’t governed by a state law, but is permitted because no statute or case law prevents it. Courts are known to regularly issue pre-birth orders.
Conversely, traditional (genetic) surrogacy in Kentucky is expressly prohibited by Ky.Rev.Stat.§199.590.
In Maine, gestational surrogacy is permissible as of 2016, thanks to the Maine Parentage Act. Pre-birth orders are routinely granted, provided that the statutory requirements are met.
Traditional (genetic) surrogacy is permitted in Maine. If the traditional surrogate is a family member, then one may be able to obtain a pre-birth determination of parentage, provided that the statutory requirements for a gestational surrogate are met. If the traditional surrogate is not a family member, a post-birth adoption by the intended parents would be required to establish parentage.
Family Inceptions works with intended parents and surrogates in Maine. We help parents find just the right surrogate mother, and we match generous surrogates with their perfect-fit intended parents.
In Massachusetts, gestational surrogacy is permitted based on the verdicts of several court cases.
Traditional (genetic) surrogacy agreements are not likely to be upheld by the court in Massachusetts. Rather, case law suggests that parentage provisions in genetic surrogacy arrangements may not be enforceable. Parentage in these situations is likely to be determined on a case-by-case basis, and expert legal advice is strongly recommended.
A traditional surrogate has to wait four days before she can legally relinquish her rights to the child, but she can place the child with the intended parents immediately. If the intended father is not biologically related to the child, then an adoption must be completed.
Courts in Massachusetts do grant pre-birth orders.
Family Inceptions works with intended parent and surrogates in Massachusetts, assisting with every step of the surrogacy journey.
In Maryland, gestational surrogacy is implicitly permissible as of 2003, when the Court of Appeals of Maryland ruled that a lower court erred in not letting a gestational surrogate be removed as “mother” from a birth certificate.
In Maryland, traditional (genetic) surrogacy is legally risky, as the sort of compensation that is customary in surrogacy arrangements was deemed illegal. Parents (typically the Intended Mother) wishing to work with a traditional surrogate would have to adopt the child after birth.
We strongly recommend retaining legal counsel, knowledgeable of reproductive law when working with a surrogate in Maryland.
Family Inceptions is an egg donation agency that has been assisting families with the Maryland egg donation process for years. Providing assistance to intended parents and egg donors interested in completing an egg donation journey in Baltimore or the surrounding cities, our company walks everyone involved through each step.
In Minnesota, gestational surrogacy is permitted because there is no statute or case law that prohibits it.
Traditional (genetic) surrogacy is not addressed in any statutes or case law but is typically handled by completing a step-parent adoption after birth. A single unpublished appeals case has deemed a surrogate the mother of a child, but the vast majority of the time the intended parents can eventually claim parenthood legally.
Many courts in Minnesota do grant pre-birth orders, but not all will.
In Mississippi, gestational surrogacy is permitted because there is no statute or case law that prohibits it.
Traditional (genetic) surrogacy is not addressed in any statutes or case law, but there is very little precedent for the practice in the state.
Courts in Mississippi do grant pre-birth orders.
In Missouri, gestational surrogacy is permitted, because there is no statute or case law that prohibits it.
Traditional (genetic) surrogacy is permitted, but the non-biological parent should expect the legal requirements that often come with adoption, such as a six-month waiting period and criminal background checks.
Courts in Missouri do not typically grant pre-birth orders.
In Montana, gestational surrogacy is permitted, because there is no statute or case law that prohibits it.
Traditional (genetic) surrogacy is similarly permitted because no statute or case law prohibits it.
Courts in Missoula County and in some other counties grant parentage and birth registration orders both pre-birth and post-birth.
The legal basis to recognize parentage without a genetic relationship to one of the intended parents is weak.
Gestational Surrogacy is permitted in Nevada and governed by Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 126.500-126.810.. Gestational Surrogacy is open to Intended Parents from around the world regardless of:
- Current and/or previous marital status
- Familial size/status
- Lack of genetic connection to the embryos
- Sexual orientation
A Gestational Surrogate may be compensated for her time, trouble and inconvenience as well as her reasonable expenses, including any medical, legal or other professional expenses.
Nevada law recognizes the validity and enforceability of a written Gestational Surrogacy Agreement when it is drafted by an attorney and all parties are represented by independent legal counsel. The Agreement includes clear information regarding the parties’ legal, financial and contractual rights and obligations.
Upon the Agreement’s execution, 1) the Gestational Surrogate has no parental and/or custodial responsibilities in the child she is carrying on behalf of the Intended Parents and 2) all parental and/or custodial rights in the child carried by the Gestational Surrogate exclusively vests in the Intended Parent(s).
Nevada has no statute or case law permitting and/or governing Traditional (genetic) Surrogacy
Family Inceptions Is proud to work with intended parents and surrogates in the state of Nevada.
In New Hampshire, gestational surrogacy is practiced and governed by state statute.
Traditional (genetic) surrogacy is permitted in the state, as there are no laws prohibiting it, although post-birth orders are required to complete the declaration of parentage and an adoption may be required.
Courts in New Hampshire do grant pre-birth orders, known as “Parentage Orders” and will also grant a Parentage Order post-birth when necessary.
New Hampshire law does not require the couple to be married and permits a single intended parent to enter into a surrogacy arrangement.
Family Inceptions works with intended parents and surrogates living in New Hampshire. Reach out to our team to learn more about how we help.
New Jersey 6164
In New Jersey, gestational surrogacy is practiced and permitted by New Jersey Gestational Carrier Agreement Act. This legislation provides for enforceable gestational carrier agreements and pre-birth orders in NJ under certain conditions.
Traditional (genetic) surrogacy is permitted in New Jersey only if it’s uncompensated and there’s no pre-birth agreement to surrender the child. Intended Parents must adopt the child and can’t do so until after delivery.
The state of New Jersey has specific age, medical, and legal requirements in order to serve as a gestational surrogate.
Family Inceptions serves intended parents and surrogates in New Jersey. Reach out to our team to learn more about starting a surrogacy journey in Newark or surrounding cities.
In North Carolina, gestational surrogacy is permitted because no statutes or case law prohibit it.
Traditional (genetic) surrogacy’s legality is unclear in North Carolina. It’s important to speak with an experienced attorney licensed in North Carolina before proceeding with a traditional surrogate
Courts in North Carolina have been known to grant pre-birth orders, but post-birth orders are more complicated. The result depends highly on the individual court.
Same-sex couples are treated the same as heterosexual couples under the statute and they can be married or unmarried and use their own genetics.
Family Inceptions provides assistance to intended parents and surrogates interested in completing a surrogacy journey in Charlotte or the surrounding cities. Our company walks everyone involved through each step.
In North Dakota, gestational carrier arrangements are permitted by state law, which states unequivocally that a child born to a gestational carrier is the child of the intended parents.
Traditional (genetic) surrogacy, however, is not permitted. State law declares this method of surrogacy “void and unenforceable.”
Courts in North Dakota do grant pre-birth orders.
In New Mexico, gestational surrogacy is neither permitted nor prohibited according to state law.
Traditional (genetic) surrogacy isn’t expressly prohibited either, although any payments to a traditional surrogate are required to meet the limits of adoption statutes on the state’s books. In addition, parental rights of a Traditional Surrogate can only be relinquished in official adoption proceedings. In some cases, intended parents may be required to share custody and pay child support.
Courts in New Mexico have been known to grant pre-birth orders, although given the ambiguous nature of state law it should not be considered a given. Consult with an attorney who is familiar with New Mexico surrogacy laws before proceeding.
As of February 2021, compensated surrogacy is legal in New York. The state passed a comprehensive law regulating and protecting the rights of surrogates and intended parents. The Child Parent Security Law is one of the best in the nation, clearly outlining legal, medical, and parentage requirements.
There are particular requirements that a New York surrogate must meet, including age, medical and health history, and financial stability.
New York’s new surrogacy law creates a clear and simplified path to obtaining parental rights, making it a surrogacy-friendly state regardless of marital status, sexual orientation, or biological relation.
Gestational surrogacy is permitted in Ohio. The Ohio Supreme Court held that gestational carrier agreements are not prohibited by public policy.
Traditional (genetic) surrogacy is not addressed by Ohio statutory or published case law. The enforceability of individual traditional surrogacy arrangements varies by judge and circumstances and could be risky.
Depending on the court/judge, it is possible to obtain a pre and/or post birth order in Ohio.
Ohio is surrogacy friendly, whether married couples are same-sex or heterosexual.
For unmarried couples, it depends on the court/judge, although it could be risky and additional legal work may be advisable.
On May 15. 2019, Oklahoma’s, HB2468, Oklahoma Gestational Agreement Act legalized gestational surrogacy.
Traditional (genetic) surrogacy is permitted in Oklahoma, but the laws governing it are closer to those of adoption, so the process must be uncompensated.
There are specific requirements to become a gestational surrogate, so be sure to check with an attorney.
Under the new law, pre-birth orders are allowed, if the law is followed and the contract is validated prior to embryo transfer.
In Oregon, gestational surrogacy is permitted because no statutes or case law prohibit it. Pre-birth orders (called “judgments”) are possible.
Traditional (genetic) surrogacy is permitted because no statute or published case law prohibits it. However, there are a few additional steps. If the surrogate is unmarried, the biological father will need to file a Joint Acknowledgment of Paternity to establish paternity. If the surrogate is married, paternity proceedings will be needed to declare the biological father as the legal father. In either case, the second parent will need to complete a second-parent adoption.
Courts in Oregon do grant pre-birth orders.
Family Inceptions is a surrogacy that has been assisting families with the Oregon surrogacy process for years. We provide assistance to intended parents and surrogates in the Portland area or the surrounding cities.
In Pennsylvania, gestational surrogacy is permitted because no statutes or case law prohibit surrogacy. In addition, recent case law (In Re: Baby S) confirmed the enforceability of surrogacy contracts in Pennsylvania as well as confirmed the Assisted Conception Birth Registration process (Pre-Birth Orders or “PBO”) established by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and intended parents’ legal parentage established through such process.
Traditional (genetic) surrogacy is also permitted because no statute or published case law prohibits the same. However, traditional surrogates are not permitted compensation (other than reimbursement of expenses) and PBOs are not possible.
In Rhode Island, gestational surrogacy is permitted because no statutes or case law prohibit it. All cases are heard by the presiding justice of the Superior Court, so outcomes tend to be more consistent than in other states.
Traditional (genetic) surrogacy’s legality is less clear in Rhode Island. It’s not fully clear if compensatory contracts are legal, and surrogates may have to wait until after the child’s birth to relinquish parental rights; in this case, pre-birth orders would not be permitted.
Courts in Rhode Island do grant pre-birth orders and do so with more consistency than some other states.
Intended parents and surrogates in Rhode Island are always welcome at Family Inceptions. We serve families and individuals by providing support for their Rhode Island surrogacy journey every step of the way.
In South Carolina, gestational surrogacy is permitted because no statutes or case law prohibit it.
Traditional (genetic) surrogacy is also legal in South Carolina, but is treated more like adoption and, therefore, may be illegal—unless payments are reasonable pursuant to the state’s adoption statute.
Courts in South Carolina do grant pre-birth orders along with post birth orders, but the process to obtain orders varies across counties and individual judges.
For intended parents who are in no way related to the resulting child due to use of donor embryos, no pre-birth order will be issued, and the parties must complete a post birth adoption of the child.
Family Inceptions is a surrogacy agency that has been assisting families with the South Carolina surrogacy process for years. Providing assistance to intended parents and surrogates interested in completing a surrogacy journey in Charleston or the surrounding cities, our company walks everyone involved through each step.
In South Dakota, gestational surrogacy is permitted because no statutes or case law prohibit it. The courts are generally favorable, and often will issue pre-birth orders. A bill to regulate gestational surrogacy has been drafted by the state bar, but it has not been introduced.
Traditional (genetic) surrogacy is also implicitly permitted in South Dakota, because no statute or published case law prohibits it. However, traditional surrogacy is quite rare and fraught with potential legal problems, and the Courts generally are not favorable to traditional surrogacy.
Courts in South Dakota do grant pre-birth orders and do so with more consistency than some other states.
In Texas, gestational surrogacy is permitted by Texas by state statute. It authorizes gestational surrogacy for married intended parents who follow the procedures specified in the statute, including having their Gestational Surrogate Agreement validated by a court before birth.
Traditional (genetic) surrogacy in Texas requires a termination of parental rights, the establishment of paternity and/or an adoption. Everything is filed after the child is born.
Courts in Texas do grant pre-birth orders, as long as it is done in compliance with the statutory validation procedure.
Same-Sex couples are treated exactly the same as heterosexual couples.
Family Inceptions provides assistance to intended parents and surrogates interested in completing a surrogacy journey in Dallas or other cities in Texas. We walk everyone involved through each step of the Texas surrogacy process.
In Utah, gestational surrogacy is permitted by state statute. It permits gestational surrogacy for married intended parents. Intended parents file with a court to have their gestational surrogacy agreement validated pre-birth. This validation process is what makes the gestational surrogacy agreement valid under Utah law. Then, after the surrogate gives birth, the court will order Vital Records to issue a birth certificate with the intended parents’ names.
Although Traditional (genetic) surrogacy may be permitted in Utah because no statute or published case law prohibits it, state law only addresses gestational agreements.
In Vermont, gestational surrogacy is permitted by the Vermont Parentage Act of 2018, effective July 1, 2018.
Traditional (genetic) surrogacy is permitted in Vermont because no statute or published case law prohibits it. However, except for family members, it is not covered by the new parentage law, and so traditional surrogacy will be treated like adoption.
There are basic requirements to become a surrogate set forth in the new Vermont Parentage Act.
Courts in Vermont do grant pre-birth orders. We recommend that this process be commenced immediately following the first trimester.
In Vermont, same-sex couples are not treated any differently than other couples or singles.
Family Inceptions works intended parents and surrogates interested in completing a surrogacy journey in Vermont. We work with families and individuals in Burlington or the surrounding cities, walking everyone involved through each step of the process.
Effective as of January 1, 2019, Washington’s new Uniform Parentage Act, RCW 26.26A, permits gestational and genetic/traditional surrogacy. The new parentage statute recognizes surrogacy agreements and pre-birth orders under certain conditions. There are several requirements that must be met to be in compliance with the statute, so be sure to consult an attorney.
Courts in Washington grant pre-birth orders for gestational surrogacy; enforcement of the pre-birth order is stayed until the birth of the child. Pre-birth orders are not available for genetic surrogacy.
Family Inceptions is a surrogacy agency that has been assisting families with the Washington surrogacy process for years. We provide assistance to intended parents and surrogates interested in completing a surrogacy journey in Seattle or the surrounding cities. Ready to learn more about surrogacy in Washington? Contact our team today.
In Wisconsin, gestational surrogacy is permitted by the Wisconsin Supreme Court decision Paternity of F.T.R., Rosecky v. Schissel. The court concluded that surrogacy contracts are enforceable unless contrary to the child’s best interest. Pre-birth orders can be issued; however, a final order must be issued after the baby is born. Courts are more favorable to married couples.
Traditional (genetic) surrogacy is permitted in Wisconsin pursuant to the same Supreme Court case.
In West Virginia, gestational surrogacy is permissible under West Virginia Code which permits “fees and expenses included in any agreement in which a woman agrees to become a surrogate mother.” The courts are generally favorable to married couples, regardless of sexual orientation, and will entertain a petition for a pre-birth order as provided in the surrogacy agreement.
Traditional (genetic) surrogacy is similarly permitted in West Virginia because no statute or published case law prohibits it, provided that the agreement is well drafted.
Should You Check The Legality Of Surrogacy In Your State?
Before moving ahead with surrogacy, you should check on your state’s laws regarding surrogacy and parentage orders. Your state’s laws can make a difference, but it’s actually more important to choose a surrogate who lives and plans to deliver in a surrogacy-friendly state. The state where the baby is born will have legal jurisdiction.
Is It Illegal Everywhere Else?
There are currently three states where surrogacy is illegal: Nebraska, Michigan, and Louisiana. Other states, like Arizona, Indiana, and Idaho, have restrictions in place that can make surrogacy arrangements risky to undertake. Your best bet is to consult with an experienced reproductive law attorney. Should you choose to work with a surrogacy agency, they will often have an in-house lawyer or referral partners to help you navigate surrogacy law.
When Do You Need Help From A Reproductive Lawyer?
Before entering into a surrogacy agreement, you need to seek legal counsel from a reproductive lawyer. Your attorney is one of most essential professionals in a surrogacy journey, so take care when choosing who you will work with. And keep in mind, there are actually two attorneys involved – one for the intended parents and one for the surrogate. These can NOT be the same person. That would be a major conflict of interest. The goal here is that each side of the surrogacy arrangement has qualified legal counsel to protect their client’s best interest.
We strongly recommend that you find an attorney who specializes in ART law, also called family formation law. A great resource to find an attorney who specializes in this would be the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction (AAAA) – https://adoptionart.org.
Navigating The Legalities Of The Surrogacy Process
The legal side of surrogacy can feel a bit intimidating, especially at first. We hope this overview of surrogacy law in the United States has been helpful as you consider your journey. Reach out to our team with any questions – we’re always happy to help!