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STATE SURROGACY LAW:

Rhode Island Surrogacy Laws

Overview

The Rhode Island Parentage Act allows and governs Gestational Surrogacy arrangements. Pre-birth and Post-birth parentage orders can be obtained for single, married and un-married couples.

Types of Surrogacy Available in Rhode Island

Can a parentage order be obtained for the following?

Gestational surrogacy

YES

Altruistic surrogacy

YES

Traditional surrogacy

NO –

There are no traditional surrogacy laws in Rhode Island, but the practice requires adoption proceedings because of the genetic connection between the surrogate and the child. Compensation for traditional surrogacy has been prohibited in past cases because of the legal trappings of adoption. The Rhode Island Parentage Act does not cover traditional surrogacy.

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

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) are listed as Parent-Parent or Father or Mother.

Rights of Egg or Sperm Donor(s)

The Rhode Island Parentage Act explicitly declares that egg and sperm donors are not a “parent” of any child conceived through assisted reproduction.  R.I.G.L. 15-8.1-702.

Surrogacy Steps in Rhode Island

Surrogacy Process in Rhode Island

Select your agency if applicable

Match with a gestational carrier

Complete medical and psychological evaluations at the fertility center

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

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.

Court Processes

Surrogacy Contracts

The Rhode Island Parentage Act acknowledges and allows for the enforcement of Gestational Surrogate contracts. 

Independent Counsel

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

Requirements for Surrogates and Intended Parent(s)

The Rhode Island Parentage Act requires at least one of the Intended Parents be a United States resident or Citizen.  If an intended Parent or gestational Carrier is married, their spouse must be a party to the gestational carrier agreement. 

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 – In person or virtual attendance required.

All parentage orders are heard by either the Rhode Island Family Court or the Superior Court. The surrogate is required to attend the hearing, but the Intended Parent(s) are not. However, the surrogate may be excused if she is close to labor.

Bases of Venue

What are the bases of venue?

Providence county possesses jurisdiction to all parentage petitions and orders.

Do rulings vary by venue?

NO

Can you file a motion to waive venue?

NO

International Issues

The Rhode Island Parentage Act mandates that at least one of the Intended Parents be a United States resident or Citizen. 

Residency Requirements

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

YES, the Rhode Island Parentage Act mandates that at least one of the Intended Parents be a United States resident or Citizen. 

Birth Certificates

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

YES, as long as one of the Intended Parents are at least a U.S. resident or Citizen.

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

YES, as long as one of the Intended Parents are at least a U.S. resident or Citizen.

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

YES, as long as one of the Intended Parents are at least a U.S. resident or Citizen.

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 1-2 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

Michael B. Grant, Esq.
255 Main Street Suite 301
Pawtucket, RI 02860
(401) 219-0400
mbgesq@aol.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 April 2024