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STATE SURROGACY LAW:

Washington Surrogacy Laws

Overview

As of January 1, 2019, an updated version of the Washington Uniform Parentage Act permits compensated gestational surrogacy and provides a framework for contracts, payment, and establishing parentage. Prior to this, only uncompensated gestational surrogacy agreements were allowed. Violation of the statute’s provisions could be found guilty of a gross misdemeanor. 

Traditional surrogacy – or genetic surrogacy, as it is referred to in Washington statutes – is also permitted, although there are additional guidelines around the procedures. 

Types of Surrogacy Available in Washington

Can a parentage order be obtained for the following?

Traditional surrogacy is referred to as “genetic surrogacy” in Washington state. Genetic surrogacy isn’t prohibited in Washington, but 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

YES

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 RCW 26.26A.605, donors of sperm, egg or embryos for assisted reproduction procedures have no parental rights over the donated gametes or a resulting child with a proper and enforceable donor agreement.

Surrogacy Steps in Washington

Surrogacy Process in Washington

Select your agency if applicable

Match with a gestational carrier

Complete medical and psychological evaluations

Select attorneys for the intended parents and gestational carrier and complete the gestational carrier agreement

If pursuing genetic surrogacy, contract must be approved by a judge before any ART procedure.

Begin IVF cycle with surrogate

Washington requires a legal confirmation letter from attorneys to be presented to the fertility clinic as evidence of completion of a surrogacy contract and separate counsel for all parties prior to beginning treatment.

Pre-birth order

Washington allows pre-birth orders of parentage to be filed for gestational surrogacy. Proceedings begin after the first trimester. Pre-birth parentage orders are stayed and not effective until birth.

Delivery and birth certificate finalization

Post-birth order

Washington requires post-birth orders for genetic surrogacy as well as a pre-procedure order validating a genetic surrogacy contract.

Birth Certificate Timeline

Birth certificate

Up to two weeks

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

Both genetic and gestational surrogacy contracts in Washington are recognized and enforced by the state. Genetic surrogacy requires that the contract be approved by judge before the surrogate becomes pregnant; if this step is omitted, then the contract is non-compliant and may not be enforceable. Genetic surrogacy shares similarities with the Washington adoption code, as a genetic surrogate-biological mother is allowed up to 48 hours after the birth of the child to terminate the genetic surrogacy contract. 

Independent Counsel

Independent counsel is required for all parties involved in a surrogacy arrangement and must be paid for by Intended Parents.

Requirements for Surrogates and Intended Parent(s)

Surrogates

  • Must be 21 years old.
  • Must have given birth to at least one child.
  • Must not have completed more than two surrogacy agreements that resulted in the birth of children.
  • Must complete medical evaluation by a licensed medical doctor.
  • Must complete a mental health consultation by a licensed mental health professional.

Intended Parent(s)

  • Must each be 21 years old.
  • Must complete a medical evaluation related to surrogacy arrangement by a licensed medical doctor.
  • Must complete a mental health consultation by a licensed mental health professional.
Agencies and fertility clinics 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?

YES. Attendance requirements vary.

As per Washington’s new statutes, pre-birth orders are available only for gestational surrogacy, although enforcement of the order doesn’t take place until the child is born. Genetic surrogacy cases must file for a post-birth order after granting the surrogate a 48-hour wait period following birth.

Bases of Venue

What are the bases of venue?

Parties choose venue

Do rulings vary by venue?

NO, but procedures may vary

Can you file a motion to waive venue?

UNKNOWN, as venue requirements are lenient

International Issues

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

NO

Birth Certificates

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

LIKELY, but may vary by county

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

YES

Can they obtain a 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

Mark M. Demaray
Law Offices of Mark M. Demaray, Inc PS
145 3rd Ave S #200
Edmonds, WA 98020
(425) 771‑6453
info@washingtonadoptionattorney.com
washingtonadoptionattorney.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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