Surrogacy Law in Texas
Texas Surrogacy Law: Types of Surrogacy
In Texas, gestational surrogacy is permitted by Texas by Tex. Fam. Code§ 160.751 through § 160.763. It authorizes gestational surrogacy for married intended parents who follow the procedures specified in the statute, including having their Gestational Surrogate Agreement validated by a court before birth.
Traditional (genetic) surrogacy in Texas requires a termination of parental rights, the establishment of paternity and/or an adoption. Everything is filed after the child is born.
Are There Surrogate Requirements in Texas?
No specific legal requirements exist to serve as a gestational surrogate in the state of Texas.
Does Texas Surrogacy Law Allow for Pre-Birth Orders?
Parentage Orders: Courts in Texas do grant pre-birth orders, as long as it is done in compliance with the statutory validation procedure.
The conditions under which intended parents could be declared legal parents with a pre-birth order are listed below:
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*
Married same sex couples, using an egg or sperm donor
Unmarried same sex couples, using an egg or sperm donor*
Single parents using an egg or sperm donor*
*Some courts may allow, even though the statute specifically references a married couple.
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:
Married heterosexual couples
Unmarried heterosexual couples*
Same sex couples°
*Some courts may allow
°Yes, if married
Whose names go on the birth certificate in Texas?
Parental listing on a birth certificate depends on marital status. If married, both parents are named on the birth certificate and can choose “Parent and Parent” or “Father and Father.” If not married, only the biological parent is named on the birth certificate.
An international same-sex male couple can obtain a birth certificate listing the biological father and gestational surrogate as parents; however, the Intended Parents would not be named as parents of the child pre-birth. This protocol would require a post-birth parentage action, and in some jurisdictions, a subsequent adoption. A later amended version can list the two fathers as the legal parents. It can be expedited by the child being born in state, if the parents are married.
Surrogacy Conditions for Same-Sex Couples in Texas
Same-Sex couples are treated exactly the same as heterosexual couples.
Are There Options for Unmarried Intended Parents in the state of Texas?
If a heterosexual couple was using their own gametes, then a termination of the gestational surrogate’s parental rights and a post-birth parentage Order could establish parentage.
If not using their own gametes, then a termination of the gestational surrogate’s parental rights and a post-birth parentage Order and Adoption Order could establish parentage.
Egg Donation Law
Tex. Fam. Code§ 160.702 absolves egg or sperm donors of parental rights, stating, “A donor is not a parent of a child conceived by means of assisted reproduction.”
State law information verified by the following (ART) Assisted Reproductive Law attorney licensed in Texas*
David C. Cole
Law Office of David C. Cole, P.C.
3631 Fairmount Street, Suite 201
Dallas, Texas 75219