Kentucky Surrogacy Laws


Kentucky has no statute or case law that restricts gestational surrogacy. However, traditional surrogacy is restricted by Ky. Rev. Stat. § 199.590, which states that “a person, agency, institution, or intermediary shall not be a party to a contract or an agreement which would compensate a woman for her artificial insemination and subsequent termination of parental rights to a child born as a result.”

Types of Surrogacy Available in Kentucky

Can a parentage order be obtained for the following?

Gestational surrogacy


Altruistic surrogacy


Traditional surrogacy

Compensated traditional surrogacy is illegal in Kentucky. Altruistic, or uncompensated, traditional surrogacy is not illegal, but many attorneys and agencies advise against it due to the increased legal risks involved because a surrogate who carries her own biological child legally can’t be forced to give up her parental rights.


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.

*For parents that are unmarried – the non-genetic parent would need to apply for a second-parent adoptoion in another state that allows for this situation.

Married couples and couples with no donated gametes are usually able to obtain a pre-birth order. The legal arguments for parentage are technically more attenuated without genetics and/or marriage.

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)

There are no statutes or case law in Kentucky that address the rights of an egg, sperm, or embryo donor over the donated gametes or a resulting child.

Surrogacy Steps in Kentucky

Surrogacy Process in Kentucky

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

Preparation for legal proceedings should begin at approximately 20 weeks of gestation

Delivery and birth certificate finalization

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.

Court Processes

Surrogacy Contracts

Kentucky courts have not been faced with the enforcement of a gestational surrogacy agreements. Practitioners follow precepts of general contract law to form the agreements. Parentage formed by assisted reproduction has been adjudicated and enforced by Kentucky courts. Compensated, traditional surrogacy contracts are considered void. 

Independent Counsel

It is standard practice for all parties involved in a gestational surrogacy agreement to be represented by independent counsel.

Requirements for Surrogates and Intended Parent(s)

Kentucky 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

Birth Orders

Do courts issue pre-birth orders?


Do courts issue post-birth orders?


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


Hearings for pre-birth orders may be requested by the presiding judge. However, hearings are rare, and the parties are usually not required to make a physical appearance. 

Bases of Venue

What are the bases of venue?

County where the child is born or where birth certificate is issued

Do rulings vary by venue?


Can you file a motion to waive venue?


Birth Certificate Timeline

Birth certificate

Regular processing time takes approximately 30 business days, but birth certificates can be expedited to be processed within 3-5 business days.

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.

International Issues

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 Kentucky have any residency requirements for out-of-state or International Intended Parents?


Birth Certificates

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


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


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


Passport Timeline

6-8 weeks after submitting birth certificate.

Passports can be expedited for a 2-3 week delivery with an extra fee. Intended Parent(s) can also visit a regional passport agency to receive one within 8 business days.

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

Chelsea Caldwell
Midwest Fertility Law Group, PLC
740 Southwest Drive,  
Jonesboro, Arkansas 72401
(870) 280-2648

Assisted with 2023 Updates

Waverley Townes and Courtney Townes Good
Mosley & Townes, PLLC
130 St. Matthews Avenue, Suite 200
Louisville, Kentucky 40207
(502) 589-4404 x102

Ross Ewing
301 E Main St #640
Lexington, KY 40507
(859) 263-3744

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 2023