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STATE SURROGACY LAW:

Maine Surrogacy Laws

Overview

As of 2016, gestational surrogacy is permitted in Maine by the Maine Parentage Act (Title 19A, Chapter 61). Prior to the Maine Parentage Act, gestational surrogacy was sanctioned by case law in Nolan v. Labree in 2012. 

Traditional surrogacy is only permitted in the restricted contexts set forth by the Maine Parentage Act.

Types of Surrogacy Available in Maine

What surrogacy options in Maine are compatible with legal practice?

Traditional surrogacy may take place under Maine law (Sec. 1931(1)(E). [MM1]) if the surrogate is a family member of the Intended Parent(s). If they aren’t family members, parentage must be established following birth through adoption. However, many attorneys and agencies advise against traditional surrogacy due to the increased legal risks involved because a surrogate legally can’t be forced to give up her parental rights.

Gestational surrogacy

YES

Commercial surrogacy

YES

Traditional surrogacy

YES

Altruistic surrogacy

YES

Parentage

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 Maine statue § 1922, an egg, sperm, or embryo donor have no rights over the donated gametes or a resulting child.

Surrogacy Steps in Maine

Surrogacy Process in Maine

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

Proceedings begin after the first trimester.

Delivery and birth certificate finalization

Birth Certificate Timeline

Birth certificate

1-2 weeks

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

Surrogacy contracts in Maine are recognized and enforced by the state as long as the parties meet the requirements of the Maine Parentage Act.

Independent Counsel

Independent counsel is required for all parties involved in a surrogacy agreement.

Requirements for Surrogates and Intended Parent(s)

Surrogates

  • Must be at least 21 years old
  • Must have given birth to at least one child
  • Must undergo medical examination
  • Has no more than one year to achieve pregnancy in the contract
  • Must obtain independent legal counsel for both the gestational carrier agreement and the parentage petition

Intended Parent(s)

  • Must obtain a medical evaluation and mental health consultation
  • Must obtain independent legal representation for both the gestational carrier agreement and the parentage petition
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

Do courts issue post-birth orders?

YES

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

Yes. Attendance requirement varies.

Bases of Venue

What are the bases of venue?

County where child is born; county where the Intended Parent(s) live; county where the Gestational Carrier lives.

Do rulings vary by venue?

NO

Can you file a motion to waive venue?

NO

International Issues

Because of the surrogacy-friendly courts and the support derived from the Maine Parentage Act, international Intended Parent(s) may find doing surrogacy in Maine a relatively 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

However, in order to get a birth order, one of the parties MUST reside in Maine.

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

YES

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 1 business 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

Kathleen DeLisle
Nichols, DeLisle & Lightholder P.C.
14 Main Street
Southborough, MA 01772
(508) 460-0500
kadelisle@ndllaw.com
ndllaw.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 October 2019

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