Gestational surrogacy is permitted in Texas thanks to the well-defined laws and procedures included in the Uniform Parentage Act of 2001 (Tex. Fam. Code §160-751 through §160-763). These laws protect both Intended Parent(s) and surrogates and also address donor gametes. Traditional surrogacy, on the other hand, is viewed as adoption by Texas law. This means that it’s not treated as surrogacy and is subject to Texas adoption statutes, not surrogacy laws.

Types of Surrogacy Available in Texas

Can a parentage order be obtained for the following?

Gestational surrogacy

YES, as long as there is a genetic connection.

Altruistic surrogacy


Traditional surrogacy

NO, although traditional surrogacy isn’t prohibited in Texas, many attorneys and agencies advise against it due to the increased legal risks. 


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.


*For parents that are unmarried – the non-genetic parent would need to apply for a second-parent adoption in another state that allows for this situation. 

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  Tex. Fam. Code§ 160.702, donors of sperm or egg for assisted reproduction procedures have no parental rights over the donated gametes or a resulting child.

Surrogacy Steps in Texas

Birth Certificate Timeline

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

As long as contracts are compliant with the requirements of the Uniform Parentage Act, gestational surrogacy contracts are enforceable in Texas.

Independent Counsel

According to Texas statutes, independent counsel is strongly recommended, but not required, for all parties involved in a surrogacy agreement. However, some judges may require it.

Requirements for Surrogates and Intended Parent(s)

  • Either the gestational carrier or the Intended Parent(s) must have resided in Texas for at least 90 days prior to filing the surrogacy petition.
  • The surrogate (gestational carrier) has previously carried at least one pregnancy safely to term and has no reason to believe she cannot do so again.
  • The ova used in the embryo creation and transfer cannot come from the carrier; it must be provided by the Intended Mother or an egg donor.
  • If there are two Intended Parent(s), they must be legally married.
  • Either the gestational carrier or the Intended Parent(s) must have resided in Texas for at least 90 days prior to filing of the surrogacy petition.
  • The Intended Mother is unable to conceive or safely carry a pregnancy to term.
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?


Do courts issue post-birth orders?


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


Establishing parentage via a court parentage order requires several steps. A gestational agreement must be drafted by legal counsel. The agreement must then be validated by the court. The Intended Parent(s) may then recieve a pre-birth order to establish parentage and secure their names on the birth certificate. Following their child’s birth, a post-birth order is obtained to finalize parental rights.

It’s important to note that Texas law doesn’t require validation of the gestational surrogacy agreement or a pre-birth order, but without them, the agreement is unenforceable.

Bases of Venue

What are the bases of venue?

Can file anywhere the Intended Parent(s) or Gestational Carrier lives

Do rulings vary by venue?

NO, rulings do not vary by venue.

Can you file a motion to waive venue?


International Issues

Because of the lack of legal restrictions and surrogacy-friendly courts, international Intended Parent(s) may find doing surrogacy in Texas 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 that 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


Texas requires that either the surrogate and the Intended Parent(s) reside in Texas for at least 90 days prior to filing the gestational carrier agreement.

Birth Certificates

Birth certificate

It is typically available for pickup in 5-10 business days.


If all the proper steps have been taken to ensure the gestational agreement has been validated by the court, then a pre-birth order will be drafted to establish parentage. Following the child’s birth, a post-birth order will be obtained to finalize rights. A new birth certificate will be issued naming the Intended Parent(s), without mention of the gestational carrier.

Passport Timeline


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

Chelsea Caldwell
Midwest Fertility Law Group, PLC 
740 Southwest Drive
Jonesboro, Arkansas 72401
(870) 280-2648

Assisted with 2023 Updates

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 May 2023