Rhode Island

Surrogacy Law in Rhode Island

Rhode Island Surrogacy Law: Types of Surrogacy

In Rhode Island, gestational surrogacy is permitted because no statutes or case law prohibit it. All cases are heard by the presiding justice of the Superior Court, so outcomes tend to be more consistent than in other states.

Traditional (genetic) surrogacy’s legality is less clear in Rhode Island. It’s not fully clear if compensatory contracts are legal, and surrogates may have to wait until after the child’s birth to relinquish parental rights; in this case, pre-birth orders would not be permitted.

Are There Surrogate Requirements in Rhode Island?

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

Does Rhode Island Surrogacy Law Allow for Pre-Birth Orders?

Parentage Orders: Courts in Rhode Island do grant pre-birth orders and do so with more consistency than some other states.

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:

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 a sperm or egg donor
Unmarried heterosexual couples, using an egg or sperm donor
Same sex couples, using an egg or sperm donor
Single parents using an egg or sperm donor

No

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:

Yes

Married heterosexual couples
Married same sex couples
Unmarried heterosexual couples
Unmarried same sex couples
Single parents

No

Whose names go on the birth certificate in Rhode Island?

Parents will be listed on the birth certificate as “parent” and “parent.”

An international same-sex male couple can obtain a birth certificate listing the biological father and gestational surrogate as parents. A later amended version can list the two fathers as the legal parents. It cannot be expedited by the child being born in state, but a second-parent adoption could probably be obtained out of state and then documented in RI to update the birth certificate.

Surrogacy Conditions for Same-Sex Couples in Rhode Island

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

Egg Donation Law

Rhode Island has no case law or statutes to govern a donor’s rights to children resulting from a surrogacy agreement.

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

* 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.