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Is Surrogacy Legal in Arkansas?

Surrogacy Law in Arkansas

Arkansas Surrogacy Law: Types of Surrogacy

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. (Ark. Code Ann. § 9-10-201) Arkansas has no case law on gestational surrogacy.

Similarly, traditional (genetic) surrogacy in Arkansas is permitted and Ark. Code Ann. § 9-10-201 and 202 address traditional surrogacy; no case law in Arkansas prohibits traditional surrogacy.

Are There Surrogate Requirements in Arkansas?

No specific legal requirements exist to serve as a gestational surrogate in the state of Arkansas.

Does Arkansas Surrogacy Law Allow for Pre-Birth Orders?

Parentage Orders: Pre-birth orders are frequently granted.

For pre-birth orders, the conditions under which intended parents can be declared legal parents if at least one parent is genetically related to the child are listed below:

Yes

  • Married heterosexual couples, using their own egg and own sperm
  • Married heterosexual couples, using an egg or sperm donor
  • Married same sex couples
  • Single parent using own egg or sperm

No

  • Unmarried heterosexual couples, using their own egg and own sperm*
  • Unmarried heterosexual couples using an egg or sperm donor
  • Unmarried same sex couples*

*Only the biological parent can obtain the pre-birth order, through a two-step process. The other parent would have to acquire a second parent adoption outside the state of Arkansas.

For pre-birth orders, the conditions under which intended parents can be declared legal parents if neither parent is genetically related to the child are listed below:

Yes

  • Married heterosexual couples
  • Married same sex couples
  • Single parent

No

  • Unmarried heterosexual couples
  • Unmarried same sex couples

Whose names go on the birth certificate in Arkansas?

Arkansas requires by statute that the initial birth certificate will name the surrogate but that pursuant to a pre-birth or post-birth order, a substituted certificate of birth will be issued removing or replacing the Surrogate’s name.

Same-sex parents are named on birth certificates as “parent and parent.”

An international same-sex male couple can obtain an initial birth certificate naming the biological father and the gestational surrogate as parents.  In this instance, the second father would have to obtain a second parent adoption outside of the state if the couple is not married; Arkansas would then amend and reissue a birth certificate with the two fathers named.  This cannot be circumvented solely on the basis of a child’s birth in Arkansas.

Surrogacy Conditions for Same-Sex Couples in Arkansas

Same sex couples are treated the same as heterosexual couples.

Are There Options for Unmarried Intended Parents in the state of Arkansas?

The biological parent if only one of them is biologically related would go on the birth certificate and they would have to complete a second parent adoption outside the state of Arkansas. Arkansas does not have a method of doing second parent adoptions for unmarried couples. If both intended parents are biologically related they could seek a finding of paternity and maternity (with heterosexual couples) and be declared joint custodians.

Egg Donation Law

There is no legal precedent in Arkansas that clearly defines the rights to donated eggs or sperm involved in a surrogacy arrangement.

State law information verified by the following (ART) Assisted Reproductive Law attorney licensed in Arkansas*

* This information is for general informational purposes only and is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. We strongly recommend retaining legal counsel, knowledgeable of reproductive law in the state.