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Is Surrogacy Legal in Maine?

Surrogacy Law in Maine

Maine Surrogacy Law: Types of Surrogacy

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[1], 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.

Are There Surrogate Requirements in Maine?

Maine has four (4) statutory requirements in order for a woman act as a gestational surrogate:

  • Be at least 21 years of age;
  • Have previously given birth to at least one (1) child;
  • Have completed a medical evaluation that includes a mental health consultation;
  • Not have contributed gametes that will ultimately result in an embryo that she will attempt to carry to term, unless the gestational carrier is entering into an agreement with a family member.[2]

Does Maine Surrogacy Law Allow for Pre-Birth Orders?

Parentage Orders: Provided that one of the parties resides in Maine, courts will grant pre-birth orders in every county, so long as the requirements of the Maine Parentage Act are met.  Hearings are required, so parents and gestational surrogates should be prepared to attend the hearing.  Some judges will waive the parties’ appearance or permit testimony telephonically, especially if the intended parents reside a distance and/or the gestational surrogate is far along in her pregnancy.  However, this is at the discretion of the assigned judge.  Therefore, intended parents not living in Maine should be prepared to travel to attend the hearing.

There is no statutory requirement that at least one of the parents have contributed gametes to the embryo that resulted in the subject pregnancy.  Therefore, under the Maine Parentage Act, all types of families can obtain parentage orders, provided that the statutory requirements are met.  This includes, married couples (both same sex and opposite sex couples), unmarried couples (both same sex and opposite sex couples) and single individuals, regardless of whether or not donor egg and/or donor sperm were used.





Whose names go on the birth certificate in Maine?

Maine has revised its birth certificates to list the parents as “parent” and “parent”.  There is no longer a “mother” and “father” designation.

Many international same-sex male couples need a birth certificate naming the gestational surrogate and one of the intended parents as the parents on an initial birth certificate to present in their home country.  This is done simply at the hospital by executing an Acknowledgment of Paternity.  Subsequently a post-birth parentage petition can be utilized to establish the parentage of both intended parents and an amended birth certificate will issue, naming both fathers as the parents and removing the gestational surrogate.  By planning ahead, this process can be expedited in most courts post-birth[3].

Surrogacy Conditions for Same-Sex Couples in Maine

There are no different surrogacy conditions for same-sex couples.  As long as the statute is complied with regarding the GCA, anyone can get a pre-birth or post-birth parentage order

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

There is no marriage requirement in the Maine Parentage Act.  As long as the statute is complied with regarding the GCA, anyone can get a pre-birth or post-birth parentage order


Egg Donation Law

Sec. 1922 of the Maine Parentage Act provides that a donor has no rights to a child born through assisted reproduction technology.

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

Kathleen A. DeLisle, Esq.
Nichols, DeLisle & Lightholder, P.C.
14 Main Street, PO Box 294
Southborough, MA  01772
Phone: 508.460.0500




[1] What constitutes a “family member” is not defined by the statute.  Therefore, one should consult an attorney before embarking on any genetic surrogacy arrangement to navigate this statutory ambiguity.

[2] Again, “family member” is not a defined term in the statutory requirements either.

[3] Many courts in Maine are in rural areas and do not have judges that sit everyday.  This should be a consideration when matching and determining the needs of the intended parents in their home country.

* 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.