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STATE SURROGACY LAW:

Rhode Island Surrogacy Laws

Overview

Although there are no related statues or published case law in Rhode Island, surrogacy is permitted. All surrogacy cases must be handled by the Rhode Island Superior Court in Providence, which means that there is a great deal of consistency in rulings. 

Types of Surrogacy Available in Rhode Island

Can a parentage order be obtained for the following?

There are no traditional surrogacy laws in Rhode Island, but the practice often follows adoption proceedings because of the genetic connection between the surrogate and the child. Because of this, the surrogate is required to wait at least 15 days after the baby is born to give her consent to the termination of parental rights. Moreover, compensation for traditional surrogacy has been prohibited in past cases because of the legal trappings of adoption. 

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 legally can’t be forced to give up her parental rights.

Gestational surrogacy

YES

Commercial surrogacy

YES

Traditional surrogacy

NO

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)

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

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 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

Although there are no statutes or case law dealing with surrogacy, surrogacy contracts in Rhode Island are recognized and enforced by the state. 

Independent Counsel

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

Requirements for Surrogates and Intended Parent(s)

Rhode Island 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?

YES

Do courts issue post-birth orders?

YES

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

YES

All parentage orders are heard by the Rhode Island 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 or where the child is born

Do rulings vary by venue?

NO

Can you file a motion to waive venue?

YES

International Issues

Because of the surrogacy-friendly courts, international Intended Parent(s) may find doing surrogacy in Rhode Island a 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

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 receive 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 1-2 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 October 2019

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