Surrogacy Basics: Where Is Surrogacy Legal?
It may surprise you that little federal governance exists over gestational surrogacy: laws and regulations are left largely to state legislature. As such, surrogacy can be a complex process, especially if it reaches over state lines. Surrogacy law is also relatively new and changes rapidly – so it can be hard to stay on top of the newest information. The good news: a good surrogacy agency can help guide you past any potential headaches.
The most surrogacy-friendly US states
California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington all feature some of the most surrogacy-friendly state laws. In these states, surrogacy is permitted for all parents, and both parents can be named on the birth certificate of their newborn. These states all also feature pre-birth orders, which help establish parenting legality for a child.
Proceed with caution
Some states allow surrogacy but impose legal hurdles for intended parents and surrogates alike. Idaho, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wyoming all fall into this category. Arizona and Indiana issue parentage orders, but in each of these states, surrogacy contracts are void and unenforceable.
Where is surrogacy illegal in the US?
You may be surprised to find that surrogacy isn’t legal everywhere in the US. Michigan, Nebraska, Louisiana, and New York (at least until 02/14/2021) all currently outlaw contractual surrogacy.
What do I do if I live in a state where surrogacy is illegal?
If you’re an intended parent in a state where surrogacy is banned or difficult, know that you still have plenty of options. Many intended parents, especially those from states with difficult surrogacy laws, choose to work with surrogates from more surrogacy-friendly states. Many surrogacy agencies work with a wide variety of surrogates from many different states, and speaking to a surrogacy specialist can help illuminate the path of your parenting journey.
Should I work with a reproductive lawyer?
Absolutely. Reproductive lawyers are well-versed in surrogacy law and can help make your time as an intended parent painless. They’ll help you with parentage orders, including pre- and post- birth orders. In conjunction with a surrogacy specialist, they can help you make informed decisions in selecting a surrogate that works well with you legally and ethically.
The surrogacy journey can seem a little complicated. Luckily, we’re here to help.
At Love & Kindness, we bring together surrogates and intended parents to create beautiful families. Our approach is honest, straightforward, and designed to ensure this journey is as smooth as possible for all parties involved during this life-altering adventure. And we’ve got experience working with surrogates from more than 20 states. We’ll be able to discuss the best states in which to pursue surrogacy for your circumstances (whether you’re single, married, straight, gay, and whether you’re using donated ova or sperm.)
Ready to start your surrogacy journey? Contact the team at Love & Kindness today.