Maryland Surrogacy Laws


There are no laws governing surrogacy in Maryland. However, in 2007, in In Re: Roberto d.b., the state’s highest court ruled that a trial court erred when it refused to amend a birth certificate to reflect the Intended Parents’ names in a gestational surrogacy case. 

Although this has resulted in an indirect approval of gestational surrogacy, the court made its ruling based on a gender-neutral interpretation of paternity laws rather than family formation laws. Nonetheless, this has successfully been used as grounds for issuing parentage orders and amending birth certificates for over ten years. 

However, no such support exists for traditional surrogacy. Compensated traditional surrogacy is generally viewed as an adoption process. Depending on jurisdiction. 

Types of Surrogacy Available in Maryland

Can a parentage order be obtained for the following?

Compensated traditional surrogacy is treated as an adoption process in Maryland and parentage orders are not typically issued for these cases, although approach may vary by court. In the case that a parentage order is issued, the genetic Intended Parent would be listed on the birth certificate and the non-genetic Intended Parent would be able to establish parentage via a post-birth adoption after the traditional surrogate terminates her parental rights following the 30-day revocation period. 

Although traditional surrogacy isn’t prohibited in Maryland, many attorneys and agencies advise against it due to the increased legal risks involved because a surrogate legally can’t be forced to give up her parental rights.

Gestational carrier


Commercial surrogacy


Traditional surrogacy


Altruistic surrogacy



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 1-Parent 2, or Father or Mother

Rights of Egg or Sperm Donor(s)

In Maryland, there are no statutes or case law that address the rights of a sperm, egg, or embryo donor over the gametes or resulting child.

Surrogacy Steps in Maryland

Surrogacy Process in Maryland

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

Maryland allows pre-birth orders to be filed. Proceedings begin after the first trimester.


Birth Certificate Timeline

Birth certificate

Up to one week. The process may be expedited.

Legal and medical steps involved in the gestational carrier 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 Contract

Although there’s no statute or case law addressing surrogacy contracts, surrogacy contracts in Maryland have been routinely recognized and enforced by its courts. 

Independent Counsel

Independent counsel is recommended, but not required, for all parties involved in a surrogacy agreement.

Requirements for Surrogates and Intended Parent(s)

Maryland 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?


Bases of Venue

What are the bases of venue?

County where the child is born; county where Intended Parent(s) live; county where Gestational Carrier lives; county where the surrogacy agreement was executed; or where the medical procedure takes place

Do rulings vary by venue?


Can you file a motion to waive venue?


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


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. Because of Maryland’s proximity to Washington, DC, it is possible for Intended Parents to pick up passports within a 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

To be added

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