Understanding laws on surrogacy in the United States and how they may affect your personal surrogacy journey is an important part of the surrogacy process.
Surrogacy laws in the United States are different in every state. To make matter more complicated, surrogacy laws are often interpreted on a case-by-case basis.
That’s why it is so important to talk with a surrogacy attorney to discuss surrogacy laws by state and how they may impact your surrogacy journey.
You can also contact a surrogacy professional to get more information about laws on surrogacy in the United States.
An Overview of Surrogacy Laws in the United States
To start, laws on surrogacy in the United States are not regulated on a federal level.
Instead, surrogacy laws are determined by individual states. While some states have created restrictions that make the process difficult to complete, many other states are more favorable to the surrogacy process.
Because you are the surrogate, your state’s surrogacy laws will matter most in your personal surrogacy journey. Even if you find out that your state’s surrogacy laws don’t allow for certain aspects of the surrogacy journey, there may still be hope.
As surrogacy continues to be a rapidly advancing field, many surrogacy laws in the United States are outdated. Many judges and surrogacy lawyers recognize this, so they may choose to interpret and enforce those surrogacy laws more progressively than strict legislation would imply.
In addition to the way surrogacy professionals interpret your state’s surrogacy laws, there are several different legal issues in surrogacy that may affect your personal surrogacy journey.
Commercial Surrogacy Laws
Commercial surrogacy is any surrogacy where the surrogate receives a base compensation.
While many surrogacy professionals today complete commercial surrogacies, not all laws on surrogacy in the United States allow for a woman to receive this compensation. Some states (although rare) completely outlaw any compensation for surrogates, while other states strictly regulate the amount a surrogate can receive in base compensation and pregnancy-related expenses.
If surrogates and intended parents don’t follow these surrogacy laws, they could face criminal charges. If you live in a state where commercial surrogacy is outlawed, talk with a surrogacy professional to find out what other options you may have.
Traditional Surrogacy Laws
Traditional surrogacy is when the surrogate is genetically related to the baby she is carrying.
This type of surrogacy comes with additional legal and emotional complications that could make the process dangerous for both intended parents and prospective surrogates. To avoid these complications, traditional surrogacy is illegal in most states and discouraged by reputable professionals.
To learn more about traditional surrogacy, talk with a surrogacy attorney about your state’s traditional surrogacy laws.
Enforceability of Surrogacy Contracts
One of the most important legal aspects of surrogacy is the enforceability of surrogacy contracts.
Typically, a surrogacy contract is a legally binding document that lays out rights and responsibilities for both intended parents and surrogates. In some states, however, these surrogacy agreements cannot be enforced, which can lead to legal complications.
You may have difficulty finding surrogacy lawyers who are willing to complete your surrogacy contract, especially in certain states where creating a surrogacy contract could result in criminal repercussions. Before you start the process to become a surrogate, find out more about your state’s surrogacy laws regarding surrogacy contracts.
Availability of Pre-Birth Orders
While some states require the birth of a child before legal steps can be taken to establish the intended parents’ legal rights, other states’ surrogacy laws allow for intended parents to establish their parentage prior to delivery.
The gestational and traditional surrogacy laws that affect the intended parents’ ability to establish parentage are not the laws of their state, but the surrogacy laws of your state as the surrogate. Your surrogacy lawyer will work with you and the intended parents to complete the legal process that’s necessary for your surrogacy situation.
Learn More About Surrogacy Laws in the United States Today
Laws on surrogacy in the United States may seem complicated at first, but understanding this integral part of completing a surrogacy can help ensure your rights and interests will be protected throughout the process.
You can get started today by contacting a surrogacy professional to learn more about surrogacy laws by state and how they may affect you.