U.S. Surrogacy Laws by State
The laws governing surrogacy agreements vary from state to state. Following is a list of the surrogacy laws in all 50 states. State laws sometimes depend on the type of surrogacy agreement, such as gestational or traditional surrogacy. If you are considering surrogacy as an intended parent or a surrogate, you should consult with a lawyer who is licensed in your state and familiar with the laws regarding surrogacy.
The legal information provided here is provided as a basic information only. It is not designed to serve as legal advice. Please contact a surrogacy lawyer is your state. AllAboutSurrogacy.com does not warrant that this information is current or comprehensive.
Alabama does not have published case laws or statutory laws on surrogacy. Alabama courts, however, often make favorable decisions regarding surrogacy arrangements. An Intended Parent may obtain a pre-birth order if they are biologically linked to the child. If the Intended Parent is not genetically related to the child, they must get parental rights via stepparent adoption arrangements after birth. Second-parent adoptions are not allowed in the state of Alabama. Source.
Alaska does not have established surrogacy laws. However, some states like Alaska, recognizing the complexity of surrogacy and the surrounding issues, have decided that legislation alone is not enough to address it. Source.
Arizona specifically prohibits the creation of formal contracts with individuals who will carry and bear a baby. Residents of Arizona can obtain a pre-court order as Intended Parents of a baby.
This pre-court order will declare the Intended Parents as the baby’s legal parents once it is born. In 1994, an appellate court in the state provided the means for Intended Parents to rebuff a state law that indicates that the surrogate mother is also the legal parent of a child. Source.
The 2010 Arkansas Code (9-10-201) addresses paternity, domestic relations, and artificial insemination. If a child is born to a married woman via artificial insemination, it is presumed that the woman giving birth is the mother of the child, except surrogate mothers. Married partners and unmarried fathers can become the legal parents of the child born of artificial insemination. Source.
Under the 2015 California Code (Family Code), California allows arrangements for gestational surrogacy under Parent and Child Relationship (Surrogacy and Donor Facilitators). A donor facilitator (non-attorney) will make arrangements with a bonded escrow company or a trust account, which in turn is managed by an attorney. All agreements regarding assisted reproduction between the gestational carrier and the Intended Parents must be notarized. Source 1. Source 2.
In 2021, Colorado passed its first law on gestational surrogacy. The Colorado Surrogacy Agreement Act provides the criteria for formal agreements between Intended Parents and gestational carriers. The Act also authorizes Colorado courts to provide pre-birth orders that enforce the standard contracts between gestational carriers and Ips, establishing legal parentage. Source 1. Source 2.
The Connecticut Parentage Act does not prohibit Intended Parents from entering into formal agreements with gestational carriers. The Act recognizes assisted reproductive technologies while keeping in tow older terminology such as artificial insemination. Older rulings state that genetic donors in the form of sperm donors, for example, whether anonymous or known, will not be considered legal parents of children born to artificial insemination. Source 1. Source 2. Source 3.
The state of Delaware allows gestation carrier agreements between carriers and I.P.s. Chapter 8 of the Uniform Parentage Act (Gestational Carrier Agreement Act) provides the details on the responsibilities of the carriers and intended parents and what will take place in the event of laboratory errors, breach of gestational carrier agreements, etc. Source.
Gestational surrogacy is legal in the state of Florida. Prior to any actual activities associated with gestational surrogacy, the concerned parties are required to enter into a formal and enforceable contract. The parties are formally the “commissioning couple” and “gestational surrogate.” In this state, a medical professional or expert has to establish with “medical certainty” that this assisted reproduction technology is the best recourse. Source.
Georgia is generally supportive of agreements between Intended Parents and gestational carriers. The state’s laws do not specifically refer to the technology, but an older set of rulings regarding artificial insemination do lay out the responsibilities of the parents. Source.
Currently, there are now laws in the state of Hawaii that prohibit gestational surrogacy or making formal agreements with gestational carriers. Since 2018 there have been some formal efforts to study the complexities of new assisted reproduction technologies, but as of this writing, there are no formal laws yet. Source.
Idaho does not have laws permitting or prohibiting gestational carrier agreements, and therefore, it is presumed that the state is surrogacy-friendly. In recent years, Idaho has also become a surrogacy hotspot in the country. Generally speaking, the parties involved must enter an enforceable gestation carrier agreement. Non-biological parents have to file for adoption (as a stepparent). Source.
Gestational surrogacy in the state of Illinois is regulated by the Gestational Surrogacy Act, the 1984 Illinois Parentage Act, and the Vital Records Act. The state establishes that Intended Parents who wish to commission a gestational carrier must do so through a formal contract. It is only then that the names of the Intended Parents may be entered in the birth certificate of the baby; however, the parent/s names can be put on the birth certificate immediately after the birth of the child. The main requirement for Illinois is that at least one of the Intended Parents must have genetic ties to the child (a biological parent). Source 1. Source 2. Source 3.
Indiana does not consider gestational carrier agreement as legal (outright). Due to a lack of laws regarding assisted reproductive technologies, it is important to work closely with a legal specialist regarding a possible agreement. On the bright side, Indiana courts have ruled favorably in the past regarding parentage, arguing that children have the right to establish who their parents are. Source 1. Source 2.
The state of Iowa often provides favorable legal decisions regarding gestational surrogacy agreements, but a few caveats. Firstly, pre-birth agreements can only be obtained by the father (but not the mother). The mother must file for an adoption process after the birth of the child to obtain legal parental rights. A genetically-related mother, on the other hand, may obtain a post-birth parentage order. There is also a need to terminate the parental rights of the surrogate carrier. Source.
The state of Kansas does not have laws regarding gestational carriers and agreements between carriers and Intended Parents. On the bright side, it is possible for Intended Parents to obtain a legal pre-birth order that establishes parentage if the Intended Parent is genetically associated with the baby. Second-parent adoptions are not possible in the state. Source.
The state of Kentucky does not have statutes or laws that prohibit people from entering into gestational carrier agreements. Gestational agreements are considered null from the get-go. However, obtaining pre-birth orders presents some difficulties, as courts will only usually grant these pre-birth orders only to parents who have a genetic link to the child. There will also be a need for a post-birth legal procedure for adoption to fully secure legal parental rights. Source.
Compensated Surrogacy is not permitted in Louisiana. Louisiana has fairly new legislation that gave further clarification to gestational surrogacy and gestational carrier agreements. When HB1102 passed in 2016, it became Act No. 494, and it provided the criteria for Intended Parents and parentage for children born of gestational surrogacy. Act No. 494 limits formal agreements with gestational carriers to married couples, and there also has to be a genetic link between the child and both Intended Parents (not just one, as is the case in some states). Source 1. Source 2.
Chapter 61 or the Maine Parentage Act provides the criteria for gestational surrogacy. Maine is one of the few states with legislation that formally includes the terms “assisted reproduction” in their statutes. Intended Parents can obtain pre-birth orders more easily in this state than in others. Source.
There are no statutes formally permitting or prohibiting gestational surrogacy in Maryland. However, in one court decision in 2007, the state indirectly approved gestational carrier agreements. There is implicit legality in the state. However, Maryland’s Attorney General has made a statement that gestational carrier agreements that involve monetary compensation or fees are unenforceable. Source.
Massachusetts is considered a surrogacy-friendly state despite not having specific laws associated with gestational surrogacy. Massachusetts ranks second in the country next to California in terms of rendering favorable decisions regarding Intended Parents and establishing parentage of I.P.s. Source.
Michigan explicitly voids gestational carrier agreements, especially those that involve monetary compensation or fees. These agreements are considered null and void outright. However, Intended Parents may still attempt to file for a pre-birth order if the gestational carrier did not receive any form of compensation for carrying the baby to term. If the Intended Parents are married, both may file for post-birth adoption. If not, only one may do so. Source 1. Source 2.
Minnesota has not formalized its statutes on gestational surrogacy and gestational carrier agreements. In 2008 there was an attempt to pass a bill on gestational surrogacy, but it has failed to become law as of this writing. Intended Parents from across the spectrum may obtain a pre-birth order but take note that the results will vary greatly depending on the courts involved. Source.
There are now laws related to gestational carrier agreements and surrogacy in the state of Mississippi. On the bright side, courts in this state have a tendency to grant pre-birth orders, especially if at least one of Intended Parents are linked genetically to the baby. Source.
Missouri does not have specific statutes for Intended Parents and gestational carriers, and all cases related to the establishment of legal parentage are based on the Uniform Parentage Act. Any legal filings are post-birth. Source.
The state of Montana does not have statutes regarding agreements between Intended Parents and gestational carriers. Like other states with much older rules that predate assisted reproductive technologies, the state does have separate laws on establishing parentage.
The state uses the much older term “artificial insemination” in its Family Code. Formal consent and certifications by a physician are required under situations where artificial insemination is concerned. Source 1. Source 2. Source 3.
Nebraska has one of the toughest laws on surrogacy. All formal contracts between Intended Parents and gestational surrogates are considered unenforceable and null. Nebraska Revised Statute 25-21,200 indicates that only the biological father of the child will have parental rights and responsibilities once the baby is born. Surrogate parenthood is also defined as an agreement where a woman bears the child of another man who is not her husband. Source.
Gestational surrogacy and agreements between Intended Parents and carriers are legal in Nevada. Intended Parents may obtain pre-birth orders from Nevada courts that provide the legal basis for parentage. It is not required for the Intended Parents to have genetic links to the child. Each of the Intended Parents, however, has to secure dedicated legal representation during the proceedings. Source 1. Source 2.
NH Rev Stat § 168-B:2 (2015) establishes the criteria for gestational surrogacy and parentage in the event of a formal agreement between Intended Parents and a gestational carrier. Intended Parents may also obtain pre-birth orders regardless of their civil status (married or unmarried) and whether they are heterosexual or same-sex. Source.
Gestational surrogacy is legal and permitted in the state of New Jersey. There is specific legislation that allows for compensated surrogacy. Prior to the passing of the New Jersey Gestational Carrier Agreement Act of 2018, compensated gestational carriers were prohibited in the state, and formal agreements between Intended Parents and compensated carriers were considered null and void. Today, Intended Parents can obtain pre-birth orders, and neither of the Intended Parents has to be genetically linked to the child. Source.
The New Mexico Uniform Parentage Act expressly states that gestational carrier agreements are neither prohibited nor directly authorized by state law. Article 2 of the New Mexico Uniform Parentage Act is responsible for determining the parentage of a child in scenarios like gestational surrogacy, where the birthing mother relinquishes parental rights to the child. Source.
New York public policy on surrogate parenting contracts indicates that these agreements are contrary to law and are unenforceable. Should the pregnancy be the result of surrogacy that is not compensated, then the agreement is not prohibited by law. Only altruistic gestational surrogacy is allowed in the state of New York. Source.
There are no formal laws on gestational carriers and formal contracts between Intended Parents and gestational carriers in the state of North Carolina. However, courts may decide favorably on Intended Parents if at least one of the parents is genetically linked to the child. It is possible to obtain a pre-birth order, but take note that this is the exception more than the norm, and Intended Parents should be prepared for legal complications if they pursue gestational surrogacy in North Carolina. Source.
It is legal to engage in gestational surrogacy and create formal contracts between Intended Parents and gestational carriers in the state of North Dakota. North Dakota legislation on gestational surrogacy and assisted reproduction can be found in the Uniform Status of Children of Assisted Conception Act (14-18).
Intended Parents can obtain a pre-birth order easily if at least one of the parents is genetically related to the child. It is unclear if courts will readily grant the same if neither of the Intended Parents is genetically linked to the baby. Source.
A ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court, J.F. v. D.B., 879 N.E.2d 740 (2007), favors gestational surrogacy. In most circumstances, Intended Parents will be able to obtain a pre-birth order establishing legal parentage over the baby. There are no strict rules regarding married or unmarried couples, as well as same-sex couples. Genetic association to the child is also not a hard requirement for obtaining pre-birth orders, though Intended Parents should know that there is no general uniformity in the courts granting these pre-birth orders. Decisions will vary by case. Source.
In 2019, the state of Oklahoma passed House Bill 2468, or the Oklahoma Gestational Agreement Act. In the Act, gestational surrogacy agreements are valid and enforceable, and Intended Parents can obtain pre-birth orders establishing the legal parentage of the child.
The Act grants both Intended Parents or just one Intended Parent the right to file for a pre-birth order. What makes Oklahoma’s Act on gestation surrogacy unique is it requires Intended Parents and gestational carriers to bring their agreement first to the courts for validation before any embryonic transfer or assisted reproduction can occur. Source.
While there are no specific laws or statutes that either authorize or prohibit gestational surrogacy in the state of Oregan, there is implicit agreement and approval that assisted reproduction is an acceptable way to build one’s family. Oregon courts usually decide favorably with regard to pre-birth orders when at least one of the Intended Parents filing is genetically linked to the child. Stepparent adoptions are legal in Oregon as long as the Intended Parent filing for adoption has resided in Oregon for at least six months. Source.
There are no formal laws in Pennsylvania regarding agreements between Intended Parents and gestational carriers. However, two case files in 2006 and 2014 were decided in a favorable manner. Intended Parents may file for a pre-birth order, but there is no guarantee that any court in the state would decide in favor of the Intended Parent/s. Decisions regarding individual cases can vary greatly. Source 1. Source 2.
Chapter 8 of Rhode Island’s Uniform Parentage Act recognizes gestational surrogacy and Intended Parents may voluntarily acknowledge parentage. Genetic parents who wish to relinquish parental rights should file for a Denial of Parentage at the same time that the Intended Parents are filing for parental rights. Gestational surrogacy is considered an ordinary and accepted practice in building one’s family in the state, and for a change, there is a degree of predictability in the decisions of the courts when Intended Parents are filing for pre-birth orders. Such cases are handled by the Chief Judge of the Rhode Island Family Court, located in Providence. Source 1. Source 2. Source 3.
There are no formal laws regarding surrogacy in the state of South Carolina. Like other states, rulings on gestational carrier agreements are based on previous decisions, and in one previous decision, a South Carolina court referred to a “Gestational Carrier Agreement,” which means there is an implicit and favorable decision toward surrogacy. It is possible for Intended Parents to obtain a pre-birth order, but only the biological parent of the child will be able to obtain parental rights. The results of petitions will vary depending on the court. Source 1. Source 2.
South Dakota does not have formal statutes on gestational surrogacy and agreements between carriers and Intended Parents. Nonetheless, Intended Parents may file for a pre-birth order to establish parenting rights. The results of such petitions vary; laws on contracts and other related statutes are used in court when I.P.s file. Source.
The state of Tennessee defines gestational surrogacy and the conditions behind it but does not authorize or prohibit agreements and this assisted reproduction technology. Intended Parents may try to obtain a pre-birth order for their child, but the state will only grant parentage to the Intended Parent that has a genetic link to the baby. The Intended Parent that is not genetically linked to the child will have to file for post-birth parentage through stepparent adoption of the baby. Source.
The Texas Family Code grants rights to Intended Parents and considers gestational carrier agreements as valid and enforceable. Intended Parents may file for a pre-birth order as long as the Texas legal system considers the agreement with the gestational carrier as valid and the carrier has complied with additional statutory requirements for legal gestational surrogacy prior to the agreement. Source.
Gestational surrogacy is considered valid and enforceable under the Utah Uniform Parentage Act, under Part 8 (Gestational Agreement). Both parties (the Intended Parents) must agree to the procedure, and the gestational carrier should not be receiving any form of state assistance and Medicaid. The gestational mother may not use the sperm of her husband (if she is married) in the procedure. Additionally, the gestational mother may not be an egg donor. Source.
In 2018, the state of Vermont passed the VPA or the Vermont Parentage Act. This is a rewriting of the old Vermont laws on parentage to reflect the increase in diversity in the family forms present in the state. There is no greater clarity in establishing legal parentage of children and how individuals can legally file to establish such parental rights.
The state legislature agrees that this is one of the foundations of healthy family life, and of course, it’s the child’s right to find out who their parents really are. The Vermont Parentage Act holds gestational surrogacy agreements as valid and enforceable. Intended Parents can file for pre-birth orders, and genetic linkages to the child are not required to establish parentage. Source.
Virginia has the Assisted Conception Statute or the Status of Children of Assisted Conception Act. The Act states that gestational surrogacy agreements are indeed enforceable and valid. However, there is no such thing as post-birth orders or pre-birth orders.
The state of Virginia has a court-approved model for surrogacy agreements, which involves a court hearing, monitoring, and home study, plus pre-approval of the IVF cycle. The second method of establishing parentage is by filing a Surrogate Consent and Report form with the state’s Birth Registrar. If the Intended Parents opt for the second path to establishing parental rights, they must do so no more than three days after the birth of the child. Source.
The state of Washington updated its Uniform Parentage Act in 2019 to include statutes on gestational surrogacy and agreements between carriers and Intended Parents. Washington is one of the few states in the U.S. that explicitly approves of the compensated gestational surrogacy model. Surprisingly, Washington also allows traditional surrogacy agreements, but the Intended Parents and the traditional surrogate have to be fully aware of the statutes governing this arrangement, and they also have to comply with all of the statutory requirements beforehand.
Under the updated Uniform Parentage Act of 2019, Intended Parents can also file for pre-birth orders. The Washington legal system does not have hard requirements on who can file for a pre-birth order. This means that Intended Parents that are either married or unmarried can file. Same-sex couples can also do so, but all Intended Parents will have to comply with all of the state’s statutory requirements. Source.
The state of West Virginia does formally permit agreements between carriers and Intended Parents and assisted reproduction (gestational surrogacy) in general terms. Intended Parents may file for pre-birth orders. However, the results of such petitions will vary depending on the judge, court, and county. In short, results will vary. Source.
Wisconsin has the implicit acceptance of gestational surrogacy based on a previous decision in 2013. The Wisconsin court system may uphold a gestational carrier agreement as long as the agreement will not be detrimental to the wellbeing and future of the child. Intended Parents may file for pre-birth orders only in specific Wisconsin counties. The courts’ decisions will vary. Source.
The state of Wyoming does not expressly prohibit or authorize the Act of gestational surrogacy. Presently there is insufficient data as to how most courts will decide when Intended Parents file for pre-birth orders. Source.