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STATE SURROGACY LAW:

Florida Surrogacy Laws

Overview

Florida law allows both gestational and traditional surrogacy on the basis of several different statutes. Marital status or sexual orientation is not a factor for permitting or denying a surrogacy arrangement to occur in Florida.

Gestational surrogacy is regulated by Ch.742.15 FL Stat., and 742.16 which set the conditions under which married Intended Parent(s) with at least one genetic connection to their child can file a Petition for Affirmation of Parental Status and receive a Parental Order.  F.S. 742 Petitions are post-birth Petitions. 

Unmarried Couples, single Intended Parents or Intended Parents relying upon both sperm and ova donors can also establish parentage with a surrogate under Ch.63.213 FL Stat.  Unlike a traditional surrogacy, Intended Parents described in this paragraph do not have to wait 48 hours.  Surrogates are barred from changing their minds or making a claim for the child unless they, themselves, are genetically related to the child being carried.

Types of surrogacy available in Florida

Can a parentage order be obtained for the following?

Gestational surrogacy

YES

Altruistic surrogacy

YES

Traditional surrogacy

YES –

Traditional surrogacy is regulated by Ch.63.213 FL Stat., which sets the conditions under which any Intended Parent may engage a traditional surrogate and who will receive parentage 48 hours after the delivery.  Historically such Petitions are called Pre-Planned Adoptions as the Parties will generate a Surrogacy Agreement prior to an IUI. The 48-hour wait is in recognition of the genetic connection between surrogate and child. 

Parentage

Who can be declared as the parent(s) of a child from a surrogate via a court parentage order under Florida Statute 63.213?

💚 – 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.

Any Intended Parent, single or coupled, with or without a genetic connection to the Child.  We can also use this Statute for those international jurisdictions requiring a showing of how parentage passes from surrogate to biological parent. 

How are Intended Parent(s) Listed on the Birth Certificate?

Intended Parent(s) may be listed as Father/Parent or Mother/Parent. These designations are pre-printed on the Birth Certificate forms used by the Florida Department of Health. This designation on the birth certificate has no bearing on parentage for same-sex couples.

 

Rights of Egg or Sperm Donor(s)

According to Ch.742.14 FL Stat., egg, sperm or embryo donors relinquish all ownership rights to the donated gametes and all parental rights to a resulting child.

Surrogacy Steps in Florida

Surrogacy Process in Florida

Select your agency if applicable

Match with a gestational carrier

Complete medical and psychological evaluations

Select attorneys for the intended parents and gestational carrier and complete the gestational carrier agreement

Begin IVF cycle with surrogate

Pre-Birth order and Delivery

Florida requires pre-birth orders to affirm parentage and name the Intended Parent(s) on the birth certificate, which will be established on the hospital records – with subsequent birth certificate to match.

Birth certificate

The birth certificate, with the Intended Parents established as the parents of the child, will be released by vital records.

Birth Certificate Timeline

Birth certificate

3-5 days from Vital Records’ receipt of the Parental Order.

Court Processes

Surrogacy Contracts

Gestational surrogacy and Traditional surrogacy contracts are regulated and enforced under Florida law.

Independent Counsel

Independent counsel is required for all parties involved in a surrogacy or donor Agreement.

Requirements for Surrogates and Intended Parent(s)

Surrogates

  • Must be at least 21 years of age 
  • Must have given birth to at least one child 
  • Must undergo a medical and mental health evaluation 
  • Must have a health insurance policy that covers major medical treatments and hospitalization.

Intended Parent(s)

  • Must be older than 18 
  • The Intended Mother must be determined by a physician to be:
    • Unable to carry a pregnancy to term
    • In a situation where carrying a pregnancy will risk her own health
    • In a situation where carrying a pregnancy will risk the fetus’ health

Agencies and fertility clinics may have additional requirements based on the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys.

Birth Orders

Do courts issue pre-birth orders?

YES, however the Administrative Regulations do not permit a PBO to direct Vital Records to generate a Birth Certificate.  The Petition can be filed at any time prior to the delivery. While not recognized by Statute the Courts understand the value of a PBO and will always grant one.

Do courts issue post-birth orders?

YES, and Petitions are required to be filed within 3 days of the delivery although it is ignored by most Courts as there may be a structure issue which prevents an earlier filing, i.e. a tardy notice of the delivery by agency or client.

 

Execution of the Order by the Judge is typically 1-4 days following the filing of the Petition for Parentage.

Are hearings required to obtain either pre- or post-birth orders?

VARIES by County and Judge.  The Parties are not required to attend any hearing arising out of F.S. 63.213 or F.S. 742.15-16.

Bases of Venue

What are the bases of venue?

County where the Intended Parents live; county where the Gestational Carrier lives; county of the child’s birthplace; or a county agreed upon by all parties. Most typically, the hearing will occur in the Courthouse convenient to the attorney.

Do rulings vary by venue?

NO

Can you file a motion to waive venue?

YES

International Issues

Because of the statutory support and courts that welcome families of all kinds, international Intended Parent(s) may find doing surrogacy in Florida a friendly, straightforward process. 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 will need to be considered if the Intended Parent(s) are citizens or residents of more than one country. 

Residency Requirements

Does the state impose residency requirements on either the surrogate or Intended Parent(s):

NO

Birth Certificates

Can an international same-sex male couple receive an initial birth certificate naming the biological father and Gestational Carrier?

YES

Can an international same-sex male couple obtain an initial birth certificate naming only the biological father?

YES

Can they receive a subsequent birth certificate naming only the Intended Parent(s) with no mention of the Gestational Carrier?

YES

Passport Timeline

2-6 weeks after submitting birth certificate.

Miami has a Passport Office and personal appointments may be obtained with a 24-hour turn-around.  If an expediting service is engaged, the turn-around will be approximately 4 days.

For those who require registration with their home country prior to leaving the US with their child, Florida hosts 126 Consular Offices.  As many are in Miami, it is often possible to schedule a Consular and Passport meeting on the same day.

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.

Consulting Attorneys

Robert Terenzio
Robert Terenzio Law
5811 Memorial Hwy, 
Ste 205,
Tampa, FL 33615
(407)-992-6600
robert@robertterenzio.com
www.robertterenzio.com

Assisted with 2024 edits

Alexia Gertz
Alexia Gertz Law
2021 East Commercial Blvd
Suit 207,
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
(954) 410-1842
alexia@alexiagertzlaw.com
www.alexiagertzlaw.com

Legal Disclaimer

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 May 2024