Is Surrogacy Legal Where You Live? Here’s Why It Might Be Banned

Commercial surrogacy is banned in most of the world – however, unlike many countries, laws on surrogacy in the United States can differ between each state. These laws extend over several factors of surrogacy, including the allowance of surrogacy contracts, provision of pre- or post-birth orders, requiring additional post-birth legal procedures, and the naming of proper parents on birth certificates. For these reasons, it is important that residents of certain states are aware of these restrictions prior to commencing the surrogacy process, as not run the risk of potentially breaking any laws or engaging in any unenforceable contractual agreements.

There are only nine states in the United States where commercial surrogacy is completely legal for couples who wish to give birth by way of a surrogate. In such states, pre-birth orders are granted throughout each state, and both legal parents can be named on the birth certificate of the child. These states include: California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, Nevada, Oregon, and Rhode Island.

In a number of states, commercial surrogacy is allowed, but either only in certain conditions, or with the exception that only post-birth parentage orders are available. In addition, legal procedures in these states may require more time and effort from couples post-birth via surrogate. These states include: Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin. Several other states have considerably more legal hurdles than the previous states, and in general are inconsistent in results. These states are Alaska, Arizona, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wyoming.

Finally, there are five U.S. states in which commercial surrogacy is completely banned, or in which a birth certificate with both legal parents’ names cannot be obtained. In short, they should be avoided when exploring surrogacy options. These states are Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Washington.

To learn more about the legalities of surrogacy in your state, or to seek counsel for your surrogacy needs, please do not hesitate to contact Evie P. Jeang, Managing Partner of Ideal Legal Group and Founder of Surrogacy Concierges.