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STATE SURROGACY LAW:

Texas Surrogacy Laws

Overview

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 is supported by the Uniform Parentage Act. On the other hand, traditional surrogacy isn’t prohibited, but it’s legally treated as an adoption and parentage has to be established through adoption proceedings. However, many attorneys and agencies advise against it due to the increased legal risks involved because the surrogate legally cannot be forced to give up her parental rights.

Commercial surrogacy isn’t specifically addressed in Texas statutes, but because there are no statutes that prohibit it, it’s permitted.

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)

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

Surrogacy Process in Texas

Select your agency if applicable

Match with a gestational carrier

Complete medical and psychological evaluations

Complete legal contract

Begin IVF cycle with surrogate

Pre-birth order

If filing for a pre-birth order, proceedings begin after the first trimester.

Delivery and birth certificate finalization

If filing for a post-birth order, begin process after delivery.

Birth Certificate Timeline

Birth certificate

5-10 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

As long as contracts are in line with 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)

Surrogates

  • 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.

Intended Parent(s)

  • 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?

YES

Do courts issue post-birth orders?

YES

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

VARIES

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 receive 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?

County where Intended Parents live; county where gestational carrier lives; county of child’s birthplace; or a county agreed upon by all parties.

Do rulings vary by venue?

YES

Can you file a motion to waive venue?

NO

Although it’s possible to file a motion to waive venue, it’s usually unnecessary because parties can choose their 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

Does Texas have any residency requirements for out-of-state or International Intended Parents?

YES

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

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

YES

Can they obtain a birth certificate naming only the Intended Parent(s) with no mention of the gestational Carrier?

YES

It’s possible for international same-sex male Intended Parents to receive an initial birth certificate naming the biological father and gestational carrier, but a pre-birth protocol isn’t used. 

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 8 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

David Cole
Little Flower
3631 Fairmount Street, Suite 201
Dallas, TX 75219
(214) 206-3571
adoptlegal@aol.com
www.adoptlegal.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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