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Surrogacy & State Law

Before embarking on the surrogacy journey it is an excellent idea to check if you are living in a surrogacy friendly state. Surrogacy is not regulated on a federal level, so state laws play a massive role in the legal process for intended parents and surrogates. Read this article to find out what category your state falls into; friendly, non friendly, or somewhere in the middle.

Friendly Surrogacy States

Surrogacy friendly means either the state has legislature allowing or acknowledging surrogacy. States where surrogacy is friendly have a deep-rooted history of judging in favor of surrogacy in legal cases. You will hear the term "pre-birth order" a lot throughout the beginning stages of your journey. What is a "pre-birth" order? A pre-birth order is a legal document that grants the Intended Parents as the legal parents to the baby to be born.

The states listed below are surrogacy-friendly:

  • California

  • Connecticut

  • Delaware

  • District of Columbia

  • Maine

  • New Hampshire

  • Nevada

  • Oregon

  • Rhode Island

  • Washington

Unfriendly Surrogacy States

How is an unfriendly surrogacy state defined? An unfriendly surrogacy state does not enforce surrogacy contracts and has laws that prohibited surrogacy. These states are against surrogacy in the sense that the courts do not grant pre birth orders and surrogacy where compensation is involved can result in criminal prosecution.

The states listed below are NOT surrogacy friendly:

  • Michigan

  • New York

The In-Between States

Most states fall somewhere in between friendly & unfriendly when it comes to surrogacy law or lack thereof. Surrogacy is granted permission in the in-between states, however, the law remains neutral in the sense that it does not protect the surrogate and/or the intended parents. When a state's surrogacy law is neither for nor against it leaves intended parents and surrogates with a sense of unreliability. Pre-Birth Orders may be granted or they may be dependent on the county a surrogate resides in, marital status and/or social status of the intended parent(s), and the genetic connection to the child. In less friendly states, surrogacy may be an accepted practice but one that comes with legal obstacles and loop holes. In a less friendly state pre-birth orders and contracts are essentially just a piece of paper, as they are inapplicable in the eyes of the law..

The states below fall on the more friendly side:

  • Alabama

  • Arkansas

  • Colorado

  • Florida

  • Georgia

  • Hawaii

  • Illinois

  • Kansas

  • Kentucky

  • Massachusetts

  • Maryland

  • Minnesota

  • Missouri

  • New Jersey

  • North Carolina

  • North Dakota

  • New Mexico

  • Ohio

  • Pennsylvania

  • South Carolina

  • South Dakota

  • Texas

  • Utah

  • Vermont

  • Wisconsin

  • West Virginia

The states below fall on the less friendly side:

  • Alaska

  • Arizona

  • Iowa

  • Idaho

  • Indiana

  • Louisiana

  • Mississippi

  • Montana

  • Nebraska

  • Oklahoma

  • Tennessee

  • Virginia

  • Wyoming

In Conclusion

As you can see without a federal mandate or specific state legislature accepting or prohibiting surrogacy, the path to surrogacy can be legally complicated or in a grey area. In the in between states, whether surrogacy is granted legally depends on cases that take precedence within your state. If you are interested in applying to become a surrogate or an intended parent it is wise to seek advice from a lawyer within your residential state.


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