California Surrogacy Laws
California supports gestational surrogacy with a number of legal protections, making it one of the most favorable states in the United States. Specifically, gestational surrogacy is protected by California Family Code – FAM § 7960, as well as with additional long-standing supporting case law: Johnson v. Calvert (1993), and Buzzanca v. Buzzanca (1998).
Traditional surrogacy, on the other hand, may be permitted in California, but it’s not addressed in California’s statutes or case law.
Types of Surrogacy Available in California
Can a parentage order be obtained for the following?
Compensation is legal for surrogates in California and there aren’t established limits on the amount.
Although traditional surrogacy isn’t prohibited in California, obtaining a parentage order for this type of surrogacy may be uncertain and most attorneys and agencies strongly advise against the practice given the increased emotional and legal risks involved.
Who can be declared as the parent(s) of a child from a surrogate via a court parentage order?
– Both Intended Parent(s) can be named on the parentage order
– Only a genetic Intended Parent can be named on the parentage order. A non-genetic Intended Parent will need to establish parentage via a second or stepparent adoption following birth.
How are Intended Parent(s) Listed on the Birth Certificate?
Intended Parent(s) may be listed as Father-Mother, Parent-Parent, or Father or Mother.
Rights of Egg or Sperm Donor(s)
According to California Family Code 7613, donors of sperm or egg for assisted reproduction procedures have no parental rights over the donated gametes or a resulting child.
Surrogacy Steps in California
Surrogacy Process in California
Birth Certificate Timeline
Legal and medical steps involved in the surrogacy process may differ from case to case. Please speak with your agency and attorneys about how the process might look for you.
Gestational surrogacy contracts in California are recognized and enforced by the state as long as they are compliant with the statutes. Traditional surrogacy contracts, however, don’t have the same legal protections, so whether a traditional surrogacy contract would be enforceable is uncertain.
Independent counsel is required for all parties involved in a surrogacy agreement.
Requirements for Surrogates and Intended Parent(s)
California has no statutory requirements that must be met for surrogates and Intended Parent(s) to participate in a surrogacy agreement. However, agencies and fertility clinics have their own requirements based on the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys.
Bases of Venue
Rulings don’t vary by venue, but procedures may differ depending on the judge hearing a case.
California, in addition to being one of the most surrogacy-friendly states in the United States, is also one of the most surrogacy-friendly places in the world. There are no specific laws in California pertaining to international Intended Parent(s). International Intended Parent(s) will have additional legal steps to complete before their return home regarding their country’s immigration and citizen laws that impact the child. It’s imperative the international Intended Parent(s) speak with an experienced attorney in their home country about their situation. The law of more than one country must be considered if the Intended Parent(s) are citizens or residents of more than one country.
Passports are regulated at the federal level in the United States. To learn more about the process of receiving a US passport, visit Travel.State.gov.
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San Diego, CA 92101
The content contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only. Content contained herein may or may not reflect the most current legal information on the subject; accordingly, this website is not promised to be correct or complete at any given time. Outcomes referenced should not be interpreted as an indication of future outcomes. Love & Kindness Surrogacy explicitly disclaims all liability for actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this website.
This website does not constitute a replacement for legal advice or counsel. Always consult an attorney before beginning the surrogacy process.
Last updated October 2019