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Surrogacy Laws by State

You’ll often hear people talk about different states being “good” or “bad” for surrogacy. If you don’t know what this means, it’s pretty likely that you’re really confused about where you live and how it will impact your journey. Let’s break it down.

First of all, know that state laws on surrogacy are ever changing.

Keep in mind – this post could be 100% factual today, and 100% wrong tomorrow. The ever-changing laws on a state by state basis is why it is essential to work only with lawyers who specialize in reproductive law exclusively.

It’s equally important for the surrogate and the intended parent to live in states that are coded as “Surrogacy Friendly.” But even if both parties come from so-called “green” states, it’s still possible that the laws of the two states may not work well together.

For example, if you are a same-sex couple living in surrogacy-friendly California, but your surrogate lives in surrogacy-friendly Tennessee, you still can not work together. Why? Well, because Tennessee only allows surrogates to carry for straight couples. (Are you starting to see why that reproductive law specializing attorney is so important?)

Here’s a look at individual states and their legal status with surrogacy. Since these laws change rapidly, please use this post as a guide, but not as your only source for information.

Green States

In general, these are the most friendly states for surrogacy. They’re accommodating to both surrogates and intended parents, and offer pre-birth parentage orders.

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Maine
  • New Hampshire
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island

Yellow States

Let’s call this grouping of states “yellow.” Surrogacy is still legal, but there are extending considerations that could impact the compatibility between the surrogate and intended parent residency. Restrictions can include sexual orientation and marital status. These states include:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Wisconsin
  • West Virginia

Red States

In some states, surrogacy is just a no-go situation. It’s either outright illegal or has so many restrictions that respectable agencies won’t work with them. These states include:

  • Arizona
  • Michigan
  • New York

Working with a respected agency and legal team will ensure that the match between intended parent and surrogate is more than skin deep. While it is important to like and trust one another, it’s even more important that the laws between your home states get along as well. There is no such thing as the “best” state for surrogacy. It all depends on the unique needs of each intended parent.

Is your state surrogacy friendly? Click here is a list of the most popular states for surrogacy in the U.S.

We would love to talk with you and explain your state’s individual laws as well the state laws that work best for your situation. To start that dialogue, just send us an Email or give us a call anytime.

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Eloise Drane
Eloise Drane, Founder

"I believe that we are all placed on this earth for a purpose. Each one of us has a specific calling in this world and although it is different for everyone, we are here to serve one another. My purpose is to help women who wish to become surrogates and egg donors and the hopeful parents who wish to partner with them. I feel very lucky to be living my purpose."