Surrogacy Laws In The United States
Creating a family through surrogacy and egg donation takes a variety of experts and professionals – of those, attorneys will play a crucial role during your journey.
The great news here is that no matter where you live, you can become a parent through surrogacy (and egg donation). What matters is the surrogacy laws in the state where your Surrogate will give birth. Surrogacy laws in the US vary from state-to-state based on the Intended Parent/s’ circumstances (single, married, same-sex, citizenship, etc.). Here are some things to know:
- No matter where you live, you can become a parent through surrogacy (and egg donation).
- Only surrogacy laws in the state where your Surrogate will give birth matter. There are currently 47 US states that are “surro-friendly” states – meaning that they accept and recognize Gestational Surrogacy and the contract.
- We only match you with a surrogate from one of these states.
For International Intended Parents, there are a few additional legal considerations that we will make sure to take into consideration when matching.
Why Do I Need An Attorney?
Some people are curious as to why they can’t just print a contract off the internet instead of using an attorney. Here are some basic reasons:
- Surrogacy laws are complex
- Different states have their own requirements
- Laws can change over time
- You want to work with an attorney that specializes in Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) – since it is very specific state-to-state – and not someone that might do it on the side.
- You want the best representation to support your needs and a contract that will hold up in court. Without an attorney you risk losing those things
Pursuing surrogacy without an attorney’s guidance and expertise can quickly burden you with serious legal and lasting consequences. We are always happy to make referrals, even to those Intended Parents that are not our clients. Feel free to reach out to us.
The Attorney's Role
The attorney’s role goes beyond drafting and reviewing contracts. There are a few milestones during your surrogacy (and egg donation) journey, that you will need the representation and services of a lawyer who is highly skilled and experienced in surrogacy and Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) law.
Of course, your surrogacy journey is more than a monetary and contractual relationship – it’s bringing a baby into the world! But, as warm and fuzzy as all that can be, the underlying structure is the contract. This agreement lays out both the Intended Parent/s’ and Surrogate’s and responsibilities.
For the Surrogate it includes attending all required medical appointments, maintaining a healthy lifestyle during the pregnancy, and regular contact with the Intended Parent/s. The contract also ensures that the Surrogate relinquishes her claim to parental rights over the child following the birth.
The contract also outlines the Intended Parent/s’ responsibilities to the Surrogate, including their financial obligations and additional expenses they are expected to pay.
The contract will list many of the scenarios that could arise and describes each party’s responsibilities in situations such as a cesarean section or miscarriage, should they occur. Finally, the attorney will make sure that the agreement is enforceable and adheres to their surrogate’s state surrogacy laws.
Before signing contracts each party (Intended Parent/s and Gestational Surrogate and her spouse, if she has one) will have their own legal representation.