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Iowa

Surrogacy Law in Iowa

Iowa Surrogacy Law: Types of Surrogacy

In Iowa, gestational surrogacyis expressly permitted by the 2018 Iowa Supreme Court caseP.M. v. T.B.,  907 N.W.2d 522 (Iowa 2018), in which the Iowa Supreme Court held gestational surrogacy arrangements were enforceable, and did not violate the rights of the carrier, the rights of the child, or public policy. This case is implicitly supported by Iowa Code § 710.11 and regulations of the Iowa Department of Public Health. Iowa Code § 710.11 prohibits the sale or purchase of humans, and it exempts traditional surrogacy arrangements by name.  The IDPH regulations provide procedures for obtaining birth certificates after birth for both traditional and gestational surrogacy arrangements. Courts are known to regularly issue pre-birth orders, but such orders are not accepted by IDPH for purposes of creating birth certificates.

Traditional (genetic) surrogacyin Iowa is similarly permissible by state law, and contracts are presumed enforceable based on 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 pre- and post-birth order process, and/or adoption.  If the surrogate is unmarried, an affidavit can be used at birth to establish the genetic father as a parent.

Are There Surrogate Requirements in Iowa?

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

Does Iowa Surrogacy Law Allow for Pre-Birth Orders?

Pre-birth orders are not accepted by IDPH to alter or create birth certificates, and no legal provision exists for pre-birth orders to alter legal relationships. Courts will commonly enter pre-birth orders to provide instruction to hospitals and to disestablish the rights of anonymous donors. A court, in a pre-birth order, might also disestablish any parental rights of the surrogate’s spouse (if she is married). A voluntary paternity affidavit could then be used at birth to establish the genetic father, but a post-birth order or adoption would be required to establish the intended mother, depending on whether she was genetically connected to the child.

Post-birth orders are necessary to establish maternity if there is a genetic connection to the Intended Father. If not, a second-parent adoption is necessary to establish maternity.

Intended parents who are in no way related to the resulting child, may be able to be declared legal parents of a child by going through an adoption process, but there can be issues if they are not Iowa residents or do not remain in Iowa for the adoption.

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

No

Intended parents who are in no way related to the resulting child, are unable to get a pre-birth order declaring themselves as legal parents. They may still be able to be declared legal parents of a child by going through an adoption process.

Whose names go on the birth certificate in Iowa?

An Iowa Supreme Court case on the issue has ruled that both parents must be listed on the birth certificate, regardless of gender. Iowa does offer “parent and parent” designations, if selected during an adoption or on the birth certificate worksheet.

International same-sex couples can receive a birth certificate that names the biologically related parent and the gestational surrogate as parents.  It is also possible to receive a certificate which places only the genetic parent on the birth certificate. To place the non-biological parent on the birth certificate, the non-biological parent will have to obtain a court order naming the non-biological parent as a parent and instructing the IDPH to change the birth certificate, either in Iowa or elsewhere. It is also possible they can receive a legal parental designation solely based on the child being born in Iowa.

Surrogacy Conditions for Same-Sex Couples in Iowa

Iowa law treats same-sex couples the same as heterosexual couples.  The two key elements are genetics and marriage. Without a genetic connection of at least one intended parent or without a marriage between two intended parents, one of whom is the genetic parent, more complicated proceedings are necessary.

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

As noted above, if intended parents are both related to the child, they can both be placed on the birth certificate relatively easily.  If both intended parents are not related to the child, a full adoption procedure will need to be completed to place the non-genetic parent or parents on the birth certificate.  Often, for those individuals who are not Iowa residents, the state law in their state of residence is more favorable, and can be used to obtain a birth certificate with both intended parents.

Egg Donation Law

There are no laws dictating the rights to sperm or eggs used in a surrogacy arrangement.

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

Philip J. De Koster
De Koster & De Koster
1102 Main Street
Hull, IA 51239
Office: 712-439-2511
Fax: 712-439-2519

https://dekosterlaw.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.