California

Surrogacy Law in California

California Surrogacy Law: Types of Surrogacy

In California, the law is highly favorable toward gestational surrogacy. The 2013 statute California Family Law Sections 7960 – 7962 upholds this. Prior cases Calvert v. Johnson (1993) and Buzzanca v. Buzzanca (1998) provided precedent that intent would guide the determination of parentage.

Similarly, traditional (genetic) surrogacy in California is permitted; while not covered under the same statute as gestational surrogacy, no existing statute or case 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.

Are There Surrogate Requirements in California?

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

Does California Surrogacy Law Allow for Pre-Birth Orders?

Parentage Orders: Pre-birth orders are frequently granted but, per California Family Code Section 7633, do not take effect until the moment the child is born.

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

No

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
Unmarried heterosexual couples
Married same sex couples
Unmarried same sex couples
Single parent

No

Whose names go on the birth certificate in California?

As of January 1, 2016, parents can choose the designation “parent,” “mother,” or “father whether heterosexual couple, same-sex couple or single person” on the child’s birth certificate.

An international same-sex male couple may be able to obtain an initial birth certificate naming the biological father and the gestational surrogate as parents. In these cases, they can, if they wish, subsequently obtain a birth certificate naming both fathers as the parents. Should they wish to do this on the sole basis of a child being born in California, they can do so—provided the gestational surrogate is a resident of California. However, as procedures vary from county to county, we recommend consulting with legal counsel in California to verify this is possible.

Surrogacy Conditions for Same-Sex Couples in California

Conditions are favorable for same-sex couple to use a surrogate in California. 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.

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

Yes, marriage is not a requirement under the statute so unmarried couples are treated the same as married couples.

Egg Donation Law

California Family Code 7613 clearly states that a neither a sperm donor nor an egg donor is a parent when sperm or eggs are provided for the purposes of assisted conception.

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

Michelle A. Keeyes, Managing Partner
Reproductive Law Center
8340 Allison Ave., Suite A
La Mesa, CA 91942
Phone: 619.464.6640
Fax: 619.464.6641
info@rlcsd.com
http://www.rlcsd.com

* 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.