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Surrogacy laws

Surrogacy law is a broad category of law that branches out to other areas like family law, estate maintenance, contract outlining, insurance, and even some aspects of immigration law. Legal experts are tasked with the daunting goal of working out agreements between parents, surrogates, and sometimes egg donors. They work to ensure that the best interests and promising future of the child are galvanized. They want to ensure that everyone is protected against risk, the finalization of parental rights, and making sure everyone is resting at homes safely.


There are four important aspects that you should know about surrogacy law.

  1. The surrogacy laws vary from state to state.

Surrogacy is under the aegis of family law, and family law is something that is a concern of the state. The law pertaining to the surrogacy arrangement is usually where the surrogate lives. The law here will stipulate the parenting rights and custody, but it won’t be the case if the surrogate lives in some other state.

There are five states where surrogacy is actually illegal. In New York, Nebraska, Washington, Michigan, and New Jersey, surrogacy is completely illegal. There are ample statutes and case law that prohibit it. It is usually not a wise plan to go for surrogacy in a state where surrogacy is illegal.

In the other 45 states of the union, there is either some statute that allows it, some good court decisions in its favor, or even both things. Other states have no actual statutes, but the courts generally look on it well.

  1. Surrogacy law is constantly up in the air.

Surrogacy law often changes. Cases are very often handed down to the lower courts, and vital records offices are constantly altering their policies. Surrogacy experts need to be informed about these issues on a regular basis.

California is a good example. It has had a favorable response to surrogacy for 20 years. There was a case, Johnson v. Calvert, where the Supreme Court in the state set up a principle that parties’ intention in a surrogacy agreement will be the governing factor in any dispute between them. In another case, Marriage of Buzzanca, the court ironed out the enforceability of the contract whether or not the parents have a genetic relationship to the child. It wasn’t until September 2012, however, that California passed a statute that authorized surrogacy agreements, and even pre-birth and post-birth orders too.

  1. You should definitely hire a lawer that is very experienced in this field.

Even though there is so much precedent surrounding surrogacy law, it is still a prudent idea to hire an attorney. Negotiating a contract is extremely vital. A surrogacy or egg donation with no contract can portend undesired or unwanted rights or responsibilities for the egg donor or surrogate.

  1. Ironing out the parental rights can take several different forms.

Surrogacy is not a cut-and-dried field. There are several factors that are part of wisely pursuing surrogacy and finalizing the parental rights. The state, or even the country, where the parents-to-be live can finalize the parental rights. Some states even have pre-birth orders in place. Pre-birth orders order hospitals to put intended parents on the birth certificate and even enable them to make decisions for the child. Some states, for example, New York and New Jersey, will not take pre-birth orders seriously unless one of the parents is biologically related. In either of those states, the parents-to-be have to a second parent adoption at home.

Parents-to-be from out of the country may have to do an adoption or parentage order when they get home. They may not need any additional legal work after exiting the United States, however. International parents-to-be should work with attorneys in their own home countries. They should work with them to find out what the safest ways are to get home safely with their parental rights still intact.



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