Surrogacy Laws by State

At Gift of Life Surrogacy, we help our clients and gestational carriers navigate the various laws that surround surrogacy depending on state. It is helpful to familiarize yourself with the laws in your state even if you plan to work with anĀ experienced surrogacy agency.

Alabama

There is no law or statute that prohibits surrogacy in Alabama. Pre-birth orders are granted but vary by county. However, it’s important to note that unmarried heterosexual and homosexual couples can’t get a pre-birth order (unmarried heterosexual couples can if they have a common-law marriage). Post-birth adoptions are considered an easier and more efficient option (with pre-birth consent).

Alaska

There is no law or statute that prohibits surrogacy in Alaska. Alaska traditionally uses a post-birth adoption process in gestational surrogacy cases; however, in 2014, a pre-birth order was granted to a married heterosexual couple using their own egg and sperm. The court that made this decision is in the district that covers Anchorage (and the vast majority of the population of the state), which means more pre-birth orders will likely be granted.

Arizona

Surrogacy occurs in Arizona; however, surrogacy contracts are prohibited and unenforced by Arizona Revised Statute 25-218. The statute also states that the surrogate is the legal mother of the child, and if she’s married, her husband is the legal father. However, a 1994 court decision ruled that the intended parent(s) can rebut the presumption that the surrogate is the legal mother of the child. This also led to intended parent(s) petitioning Arizona courts for pre-birth orders. Courts will now grant pre-birth orders, although many wait until after the birth of a child to declare parentage.

Arkansas

Surrogacy is legal in Arkansas according to Arkansas Code 9-10-201. This statute also states that the surrogate is initially listed on the birth certificate and is then amended to add the intended parent(s) instead. A 2017 Supreme Court decision ruled it unconstitutional to only name both parents on the birth certificate if they were heterosexual. Courts grant pre-birth orders but are favorable to married couples and single parents (heterosexual or homosexual) rather than unmarried couples (heterosexual or homosexual).

California

Surrogacy is legal in California according to California Family Law Sections 7960-7962. There are two cases, Johnson v. Calvert (1993) and Buzzanca v. Buzzanca (1998), that further support surrogacy as well. Pre-birth orders are granted throughout the state, and courts are favorable to all types of intended parents. It’s important to note that the pre-birth order doesn’t become effective until birth.

Colorado

There is no law or statute that prohibits surrogacy in Colorado. Pre-birth orders are granted, and courts are favorable to all types of intended parents.

Connecticut

Surrogacy is legal in Connecticut according to statute, Conn. Gen. Stat. 7-48a. Birth certificates are issued with any intended parent(s) named in a court parentage order. Pre-birth orders are granted throughout the state, and courts are favorable to all types of intended parents.

Delaware

Surrogacy is legal in Delaware according to Delaware Code 13, 8-801 through 8-810. This statute also states that the surrogate is “not a parent of a child born as a result of a gestational carrier arrangement.” Pre-birth orders are granted throughout the state, and courts are favorable to all types of intended parents. It’s important to note that the pre-birth order is finalized post birth.

District of Columbia

Surrogacy is legal in the District of Columbia according to statute, DC Law 21-0255. Pre-birth orders are granted throughout the district, and courts are favorable to all types of intended parents. It’s important to note that the pre-birth order is not effective until birth.

Florida

Surrogacy is legal in Florida according to statute, Ch.742.15 FL Stat., however, only for married couples with at least one intended parent who is genetically related to the child. Pre-birth orders aren’t granted in Florida, but the intended parents can be added to the birth certificate in a post-birth order. Unmarried or single intended parent(s) can still do surrogacy in Florida either by filing paternity/maternity petitions or through a pre-planned adoption.

Georgia

There is no law or statute that prohibits surrogacy in Georgia. Pre-birth orders are granted, and courts favorable to all types of intended parent(s). It’s important to note that unmarried heterosexual couples, same-sex couples, and single parents require careful documentation of the legal rights to the embryos during IVF if there isn’t a parent genetically related to the child.

Hawaii

There is no law or statute that prohibits surrogacy in Hawaii. Pre-birth orders are not granted but, post-birth orders are. However, these are only granted to intended parent(s) using their own egg and sperm. The intended parent who isn’t genetically related to the child must do a stepparent adoption. If neither of the intended parent(s) are genetically related to the child, adoption is required.

Idaho

There is no law or statute that prohibits surrogacy in Idaho. Only post-birth orders are granted in Idaho and to intended parent(s) using their own egg or sperm. The non-genetic intended parent(s) must adopt the child to be recognized as a legal parent.

Illinois

Surrogacy is legal in Illinois according to statute, 750 ILCS 47/1-47/75. Pre-birth orders are not necessary under this statute, and post-birth orders are also not required in most cases. The statute permits the intended parent(s) to go straight to Vital Records to obtain a birth certificate, as long as all requirements are met and if all certifications have been filed with the Illinois Department of Public Health and the delivery hospital before the child’s birth. If those things have not been done, a post-birth order is required. However, if neither intended parent is genetically related to the child, they cannot establish parentage.

Indiana

Surrogacy occurs in Indiana, however, surrogacy contracts are considered void and unenforceable under Indiana Code 31-20-1-1 (p.421). Despite this, some courts do grant pre-birth orders to the intended parent(s). These pre-birth orders are entirely dependent on the maternity or paternity of the child. If the intended parents are a same-sex couple, they cannot be declared legal parents, even if one of them is genetically related to the child. As far as a single intended parent goes, that is dependent on the judge.

Iowa

There is no law or statute that prohibits surrogacy in Iowa. Only partial pre-birth orders are granted in Iowa. The gestational carrier is presumed to be the legal mother, which means only the intended father (if a heterosexual couple) or the biological father (if a same-sex couple) can obtain a pre-birth order. The non-biological parent then has to go through a post-birth process to determine legal parentage. Adoption is recommended for intended parent(s) who are using a donor egg and donor sperm.

Kansas

There is no law or statute that prohibits surrogacy in Kansas. Pre-birth orders are generally given to intended parent(s) using their own egg and own sperm. If the intended parent(s) are using a donor egg or donor sperm, the non-biological parent will have to do a step-parent adoption. If the intended parent is single and using their own egg or sperm, a post-birth order may be necessary to remove the surrogate from the birth certificate. Intended parent(s) who are not genetically related to the child will have to adopt.

Kentucky

There is no law or statute that prohibits surrogacy in Kentucky. Pre-birth orders are granted, but it depends on the court. Intended parent(s) who are married (with at least one parent genetically related to the child) and single parents are more likely to be granted a pre-birth order.

Louisiana

A 2016 bill restricts surrogacy to intended parents who are a heterosexual married couple using their own sperm and eggs. Pre-birth orders are granted but under limited circumstances. If the intended parent(s) enter into a surrogacy agreement not sanctioned under this law, everyone involved is subject to criminal penalties. Furthermore, financial compensation to a surrogate is considered a “sale of minor children,” and also results in criminal penalties. Because of their restrictions on LBTGQ+ couples as well as genetically unrelated intended parents, Louisiana is considered one of the least surrogacy-friendly states.

Maine

Surrogacy is legal in Maine according to the Maine Parentage Act. Pre-birth orders are granted throughout the state, and courts are favorable to all types of intended parent(s) (as long as requirements of the statute are met).

Maryland

Surrogacy was implicitly approved by the Court of Appeals of Maryland in Re: Roberto d.B. Pre-birth orders are generally granted, but it depends on the court. Courts seem favorable to all types of intended parent(s).

Massachusetts

Surrogacy is permitted by case law in Massachusetts: Hodas v. Morin (2004); Culliton v. Beth Israel Deaconess Med. Ctr. (2002); R.R. v. M.H. (1998). Pre-birth orders are granted to intended parent(s) where at least one parent is genetically related to the child. Unmarried heterosexual couples must sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity post birth. Same-sex couples must also be married. If the intended parent(s) aren’t genetically related to the child, they must go through post-birth adoption.

Michigan

All surrogacy contracts, agreements and arrangements are “void and unenforceable as contrary to public policy,” in Michigan according to the Surrogate Parenting Act. Furthermore, contracts for compensation are subject to criminal penalties. Courts will only grant pre-birth orders in compassionate surrogacy cases. This only includes intended parent(s) who are married (regardless if they’re using their own egg and own sperm or a donor egg and donor sperm) or a single parent using their own sperm or egg. Michigan ranks as one of the least surrogacy-friendly states.

Minnesota

There is no law or statute that prohibits surrogacy in Minnesota. Pre-birth orders are granted but it depends on the court for all types of intended parent(s).

Mississippi

There is no law or statute that prohibits surrogacy in Mississippi. Pre-birth orders are granted, and courts seem favorable to all types of intended parent(s).

Missouri

There is no law or statute that prohibits surrogacy in Missouri. Courts do not grant pre-birth orders, however, a petition can be filed before the birth so the post-birth parentage order can be finished up quickly after birth. Courts seem more favorable to married or single intended parents.

Montana

There is no law or statute that prohibits surrogacy in Montana. Pre-birth orders are granted, and the courts seem more favorable to intended parent(s) who have at least one parent genetically related to the child; however, there aren’t many published law cases to reference.

Nebraska

Surrogacy is practiced in Nebraska, however, according to statute, R.R.S. Neb. 25-21,200, “A surrogate parenthood contract entered into shall be void and unenforceable. The biological father of a child born pursuant to such a contract shall have all the rights and obligations imposed by law with respect to such child.” Pre-birth orders are not granted; however, post-birth orders are granted. Furthermore, only the biological father can obtain a post-birth order, with the gestational carrier initially being named on the birth certificate. The couple then has to obtain a step-parent adoption to get the intended mother listed. For same-sex couples (with at least one parent genetically related to the child), only one of the intended parents can legally adopt the child.

Nevada

Surrogacy is legal in Nevada according to statute, Nev. Rev. Stat. NRS 126.500-126.810. Pre-birth orders are granted throughout the state, and courts are favorable to all types of intended parents.

New Hampshire

Surrogacy is legal in New Hampshire according to statute, N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. 168-B. Pre-birth orders are granted throughout the state, and courts are favorable to all types of intended parents.

New Jersey

Surrogacy is legal in New Jersey according to the New Jersey Gestational Carrier Agreement Act. Pre-birth orders are granted throughout the state, and courts are favorable to all types of intended parents.

New Mexico

New Mexico has a statute that states surrogacy agreements are neither permitted nor prohibited. Pre-birth orders are granted, and courts seem favorable to all types of intended parents (though it remains unclear for single parents).

New York

According to New York Code, “Surrogate parenting contracts are hereby declared contrary to the public policy of this state, and are void and unenforceable.” Compensated surrogacy contracts are illegal and result in fines. Uncompensated contracts are unenforceable, but they aren’t prohibited. Pre-birth orders are not granted, and since the gestational carrier is defined as the birth mother (and has preferred parental status, even if she isn’t related to the child she’s carrying), all parentage orders must occur after the birth. For all intents and purposes, New York is considered one of the least surrogacy-friendly states.

North Carolina

There is no law or statute that prohibits surrogacy in North Carolina. Pre-birth orders are granted; however, it varies by court for intended parents who are unmarried and are using a donor egg or donor sperm (regardless if one of the parents is genetically related to the child or not).

North Dakota

Surrogacy is legal in North Dakota according to statute, N.D. Cent. Code 14-18, which states a child born to a gestational carrier is the child of the intended parent(s). Pre-birth orders are granted, and courts are favorable to all types of intended parents, though it remains unclear for intended parents who aren’t genetically related to the child.

Ohio

Surrogacy is legal in Ohio according to case law: J.F. v. D.B., 116 Ohio St.3d 363, 2007. Pre-birth orders are granted, and courts seem favorable to all types of intended parents, though it varies by county and judge.

Oklahoma

There is no law or statute that prohibits surrogacy in Oklahoma. Pre-birth orders are possible in some courts; however, most courts prefer post-birth orders. Courts are more favorable to intended parents where at least one parent is genetically related to the child.

Oregon

There is no law or statute that prohibits surrogacy in Oregon. Pre-birth orders are granted (they are considered judgments), and courts are favorable to all types of intended parents, though it varies by court when the intended parents aren’t genetically related to the child.

Pennsylvania

There is no law or statute that prohibits surrogacy in Pennsylvania. Pre-birth orders are granted, but depends on the court (and sometimes the judge). This is especially true for intended parents who are using a donor egg or donor sperm.

Rhode Island

There is no law or statute that prohibits surrogacy in Rhode Island. Pre-birth orders are granted throughout the state, and the courts are favorable to all types of intended parents. All cases are heard by the Chief Judge of Family Court in Providence, which provides more consistency than in other states.

South Carolina

There is no law or statute that prohibits surrogacy in South Carolina. However, there is case law that suggests it’s valid: Mid-South Ins. Co. v. Doe. Pre-birth orders are granted and are favorable to most types of intended parents. For same-sex couples, only the biological intended parent can obtain a pre-birth order. The non-biological parent must then obtain a second parent adoption.

South Dakota

There is no law or statute the prohibits surrogacy in South Dakota. Pre-birth orders are granted, and courts are favorable to all types of intended parents.

Tennessee

According to statute, Tenn. Code Ann. 36-1-102(50), surrogacy contracts are neither allowed nor disallowed in Tennessee. Courts grant pre-birth orders in limited circumstances and generally when at least one intended parent is genetically related to the child. For intended parents using a donor egg, the gestational carrier will be listed as the mother on the birth certificate until the intended parent completes a post-birth adoption.

Texas

Surrogacy is legal in Texas according to statute, Texas by Tex. Fam. Code 160-751 through 160-763. The statute specifically states that surrogacy is authorized for intended parents who are married and have a gestational carrier agreement approved by a court before birth. Despite this, courts may still grant pre-birth orders for intended parents who aren’t married or a single intended parent.

Utah

Surrogacy is legal in Utah according to statute, Utah Code Ann. 78B-15-801. The statute specifically states that surrogacy is only authorized for intended parents who are married. Pre-birth orders are granted; however, the intended parents’ names will only be added to the birth certificate post birth.

Vermont

Surrogacy is legal in Vermont according to the Vermont Parentage Act of 2018. Pre-birth orders are granted throughout the state, and courts are favorable to all types of intended parents.

Virginia

Surrogacy is legal in Virginia according to the Assisted Conception Statute. However, this is only true for intended parents who meet certain restrictions: they must be married, the gestational carrier’s compensation is limited to medical and ancillary expenses, and the gestational carrier cannot give her consent until three days post birth. Because of this, most intended parent(s) and gestational carriers proceed without court approval and then jointly file a Surrogate Consent and Report Form at least three days post birth.

Washington

Surrogacy is legal in Washington according to new legislation that amends the Uniform Parentage Act. Pre-birth orders are granted throughout the state, and courts are favorable to all types of intended parents. However, the pre-birth order isn’t enforced until the birth of the child.

West Virginia

Surrogacy is legal in West Virginia according to statute, W.VA Code 61-2-14h(e)(3). This statute also permits, “fees and expenses included in any agreement in which a woman agrees to become a surrogate mother.” Pre-birth orders are granted, but courts are generally are more favorable to married intended parents or a single intended parent. It’s unclear if pre-birth orders are granted to unmarried intended parents.

Wisconsin

Surrogacy is legal in Wisconsin according to a Wisconsin Supreme Court decision: Paternity of F.T.R., Rosecky v. Schissel. Pre-birth orders are granted, however, an additional and final order is granted after the child’s birth to obtain the birth certificate. Courts are generally favorable to all types of intended parents, but it varies by court.

Wyoming

According to statute, WY Stat. 14-2-403(d), surrogacy contracts are neither authorized nor prohibited in Wyoming. There are very few gestational surrogacy cases in Wyoming, and there are no known requests for pre-birth orders. It’s unclear how courts would proceed.

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