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Surrogacy Laws in California

California has some very open surrogacy laws, and they allow LGBT couples to have surrogacy arrangement. There is no specific statute in the state that addresses surrogacy specifically, but the state’s courts have applied the Uniform Parentage Act to look at different cases relating to traditional surrogacy arrangements. In truth, one of the biggest cases in the nation regarding surrogacy was deliberated in California.


Explanation: There was a court case in 1993, and the California Supreme Court said that the parents who were intended in a basic surrogacy arrangement, that is a gestational surrogacy arrangement, should be seen as the legal and natural parents. This is where the surrogate isn’t the biological contributor of an egg. The court said that the individual who wanted to procreate – in this instance, the mother who gave her egg to the surrogate – should be considered the baby’s true mother.

There was another case in 1994, and a California Court of Appeals looked at the question of the best way to decide parentage when a child has conception through a traditional surrogacy. This is where biological contributor of an egg is the surrogate mother. What happens to this child after the two parents have separated? The Court said that the surrogate mother and intended father were the legal parents, and the intended mother would have zero parental rights.

There was a case in 1998, and it was an instance of how convoluted the facts in surrogacy arrangements can be. There was a gestational surrogate who was impregnated with anonymous sperm and an anonymous egg. Basically, one could look at six people as being potential legal parents of the child: the sperm donor, the egg donor, the intended father, the intended mother, the husband of the gestational mother, and the gestational mother. Finally, the Court said that when a couple who is married wants to procreate with a non-genetically related embryo that goes into a surrogate, the parents who are intended are the legal parents of the child.

There was a case in 2006 where the Supreme Court of California said that three cases involving lesbian couples who had children through surrogacy were alright to be the legal parents of a child of surrogacy. This ruling seems to apply to all members of the LGBT community.



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