Gestational Surrogacy is permitted by case law. In J.F. v. D.B. ,897 A.2d 1261 (2006), the Pennsylvania Superior Court struck down a trial court’s holdings that a surrogacy contract was contrary to public policy and that a gestational carrier was the “legal mother.” This ruling has cleared the way for recognizing surrogacy contracts and establishing parentage for Intended Parent(s).
Can a parentage order be granted for the following?
Although traditional surrogacy isn’t prohibited in Pennsylvania, Intended Parent(s) can’t get a parentage order for traditional surrogacy arrangements. Moreover, 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. Additionally, traditional surrogacy can’t be compensated.
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.
Although second parent and stepparent adoption aren’t legally required to establish parentage, it’s suggested that non-genetic parents complete a post-birth adoption to secure parental and inheritance rights.
Intended Parent(s) pursuing traditional surrogacy can’t obtain a pre-birth order in Pennsylvania. According to the Pennsylvania adoption statutes, a birth mother must wait at least 72 hours after delivering to sign a consent to terminate her parental rights. The consent becomes irrevocable in 30 days.
Intended Parent(s) may be listed as Father-Mother, Mother-Parent, Father-Parent, or Mother or Father.
According to Ferguson v. McKiernan, 940 A.2d1236, anonymous sperm donors for assisted reproduction procedures have no parental rights over the donated gametes or a resulting child. There is no corresponding statute or case law addressing egg or embryo donation. However, sperm donors who become involved in the child’s life may be liable for support (Shultz-Jacob v. Jacob 2007 PA Super 118).
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.
Surrogacy contracts in Pennsylvania are recognized and enforced by the Courts.
Independent counsel is recommended, but not required, for all parties involved in a surrogacy agreement. If independent counsel is not engaged, there may be a substantial risk of litigation.
Most counties in Pennsylvania don’t require hearings to receive a parentage order, but some may depending on the county. Most counties don’t require attendance, but if the Intended Parent(s) or the surrogate are from out of state, judges may allow remote appearances by the parties.
International Intended Parent(s) may find doing surrogacy in Pennsylvania a relatively easy 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.
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