Did you know that there isn’t a federal law that regulates surrogacy across the United States? That means it’s up to individual states to set and enforce their own surrogacy laws. Understanding the differences and nuances between state laws can be confusing and challenging. This is especially true since state laws can change over time. Because of this, attorneys play a crucial role in the surrogate journey. So, where is surrogacy legal?
Where is Surrogacy Legal in the U.S.?
The following are considered “surrogacy-friendly” states, which means they grant pre-birth orders regardless of intended parent(s)’ marital status, sexual orientation, and in some cases, genetic relationship to the baby. They also allow compensated and uncompensated surrogacy agreements:
Surrogacy is permitted in the following states, but additional post-birth legal procedures might be required. Many of these states have restrictions on who the intended parent(s) can be, so make sure to follow-up with your attorney to learn the details for a particular state:
*Surrogacy is legal here as long as the agency is licensed in New York.
There are more legal hurdles with surrogacy and parentage orders in the following states causing some of these to be off limits to match in:
*Compensated surrogacy contracts are prohibited due to statute or published case law, OR a birth certificate naming both parents cannot be obtained.
The legality of surrogacy can play a major role in the surrogacy journey for intended parent(s) and surrogates. That’s why it’s crucial to have an experienced attorney by your side. There are a few milestones during the surrogacy (and egg donation) journey that require legal representation and services from a lawyer who is highly skilled and experienced in surrogacy and assisted reproductive technology (ART) law. ART includes all fertility treatments in which either eggs or embryos are handled.
But don’t worry — 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. In total, 47 U.S. states accept and recognize gestational surrogacy and the contract. When you work with our surrogacy agency, we only match you with a surrogate from one of those states.
Do I Need an Attorney to Get a Surrogate?
The short answer is yes. If you’re wondering why you can’t just print a contract off the internet instead of using an attorney, it’s because:
- Surrogacy laws are complex
- Different states have their own requirements
- Laws can change at any 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 easily burden you with serious legal and lasting consequences. If you need a referral to an attorney, we’re happy to help, even if you’re not one of our clients.
Learn more about surrogacy laws, including the attorney’s role in the process, gestational surrogate agreements, and egg donor agreements.
Surrogacy and Egg Donor Services
Since 2004, The Fertility Agency has helped bring over 1100+ babies into the world. We work with all intended parents, surrogates, and egg donors no matter their sexual preference, relationship status, ethnicity, location, etc. Our personal experiences and years of expertise provide us with the perfect balance of business and passion. Contact us for more information.