Surrogacy Law in New Jersey
New Jersey Surrogacy Law: Types of Surrogacy
In New Jersey, gestational surrogacy is practiced, broadly permitted by New Jersey Gestational Carrier Agreement Act (signed into law on May 30, 2018 and effective immediately). 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 no pre-birth agreement to surrender the child. Intended Parents must adopt the child and can’t do so until after delivery. Reimbursements for medical expenses and other “losses” occasioned by the carrier as a result of the pregnancy can be permitted. If the Intended Father is the genetic parent of the child, he may be placed on the birth certificate and acknowledge paternity, with the consent of the carrier and her spouse, if any. The Intended Mother or other Intended Father would then need to adopt the child to terminate the carrier’s parental rights and remove her name from the birth certificate.
Are There Surrogate Requirements in New Jersey?
The state of New Jersey has specific requirements in order to serve as a gestational surrogate.
- You must be at least 21 years old
- You must have given birth to at least one child
- You must complete medical screening and a psychological evaluation
- You must have independent counsel, separate from the intended parents
Does New Jersey Surrogacy Law Allow for Pre-Birth Orders?
Parentage Orders: Courts in New Jersey do grant pre-birth orders in gestational carrier matters.
The conditions under which intended parents could be declared legal parents with a pre-birth order if at least one parent is genetically related to the child are listed below:
Married/Civil Union couples, using their own egg and own sperm
Married/Civil Union couples, using a sperm or egg donor
Unmarried couples, using their own egg and own sperm
Unmarried couples, using an egg or sperm donor
Married/Civil Union or unmarried Same sex couples, using an egg or sperm donor
Single parents using an egg or sperm donor
For intended parents who are in no way related to the resulting child, the conditions under which intended parents could be declared legal parents with a pre-birth order are listed below:
Civil Union couples
Unmarried Same sex couples
Whose names go on the birth certificate in New Jersey?
Intended Parents will be listed on the birth certificate as “parent and parent” or “Mother and Father,” depending on the request made at the time of the creation of the birth certificate.
An international same-sex male couple can obtain a birth certificate listing the biological father and gestational surrogate as parents, but the change can only be completed via post-birth order. A second parent adoption can be filed in New Jersey and New Jersey Vital Records will add a second intended parent to the birth certificate—but the process must be initiated within three months of the child’s birth and in the county of the child’s birth. The biological parent and the second parent must be married or in a civil union to accomplish the second parent adoption without a home study. The second parent in an adoption matter will be required to have a series of background checks performed.
Surrogacy Conditions for Same-Sex Couples in New Jersey
The New Jersey Gestational Carrier Act of 2018 is gender and marriage-neutral. As a result all couples or single people will be determined to be the parent(s) of a child born using a New Jersey gestational carrier without regard to sexual orientation, relationship status or gender identity.
Are There Options for Unmarried Intended Parents in the state of New Jersey?
Yes. The New Jersey Gestational Carrier Act of 2018 is marriage-neutral, meaning that an unmarried intended parent will be determined to be the only parent of a child born using a New Jersey gestational carrier.
Egg Donation Law
New Jersey’s Gestational Carrier Agreement Act addresses ownership rights of sperm and eggs, stating, “Unless a person who donates gametes for use in assisted reproduction enters into a written contract to the contrary, the gamete donor is treated in law as if the gamete donor were not the legal parent of a child thereby conceived and shall have no rights or duties stemming from the conception of the child.” That is to say, sperm and egg donors have no rights to the children conceived from their genetic material if the gametes are retrieved by a licensed physician and the donor acknowledges in writing that he or she is donor.
State law information verified by the following (ART) Assisted Reproductive Law attorney licensed in New Jersey*
Debra E. Guston, Esq.
55 Harristown Road, Suite 106
Glen Rock NJ 07452