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Surrogacy Law in Tennessee

Tennessee seems to say that surrogacy contracts have legal grounds, but the law doesn’t expressly permit or forbid these agreements. It doesn’t seem likely that the law will look well on a surrogacy contract with LGBT couples and individuals because “surrogate birth” in the law is said to only happen with a gestational surrogate in a married couple.


Explanation: The Tennessee statute says that “surrogate birth” can only occur in one of a couple of different arrangements: (1) The husband’s sperm and the wife’s egg are put into another woman, and she then carries the fetus completely, and she then gives up all her parental rights to the biological parents according to the contract; (2) A woman gets inseminated by another man’s sperm with a contract where the parties say their intent that the woman is carrying the fetus will relinquish the child to the biological father’s wife and the biological wife. The law also says that with these contracts, no formal adoption by the biological parents is required. The Code also goes on to say that the language above shall be looked at to definitely allow the surrogate birth process in the state unless it’s approved by the general assembly or the courts.

There was a Tennessee Supreme Court case in 1992 that ruled that in disputes involving embryos, any previous agreement would be honored. This decision didn’t specifically deal with surrogacy, but the Court’s ability to adjudicate a case for embryos that were involved in surrogacy seems to suggest that the judiciary allows such contracts in the state.



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