If you’re considering surrogacy (whether you’re a surrogate or an intended parent), it’s important to understand the surrogacy laws in your state. There are currently no federal laws in the U.S. regulating surrogacy, and surrogacy laws vary state by state. And to make things even more complicated, state surrogacy laws are constantly evolving and changing.
For these reasons, we wanted to create a guide to help you better understand surrogacy laws and pre-birth orders in each state. (A pre-birth order is a document that establishes the intended parent[s] as the legal parents of the baby to be born.)
At Surrogate Parenting Services, we have a network of trusted attorneys who specialize in third party reproductive law, and we make sure that both the surrogate and intended parents have independent legal representation. We are with you every step of the way to answer any additional questions you have. Please note that we only work with surrogates who are California residents, ensuring the most protection for both parties. In 31+ years we have never had a case in litigation, nor an issue with parentage.
Surrogacy-friendly states either have statutes recognizing and permitting surrogacy, or they have had many favorable rulings in surrogacy cases.
Generally, intended parents can obtain pre-birth orders regardless of their sexual orientation, marital status, or genetic relationship to the baby. Compensated and uncompensated surrogacy are both permitted.
Note that traditional surrogacy laws vary by state and are often complex.
California is one of the friendliest states for surrogacy. The California Family Code § 7960 governs gestational surrogacy in the state, which makes the process clear and simple for surrogates and intended parents. Pre-birth orders are permitted in California with no hearing necessary.
Surrogacy is legal and enforceable in Connecticut. In most cases, the intended parents can be put directly on the birth certificate after birth without the need to undergo adoption proceedings.
Gestational surrogacy is legally allowed in Delaware and is regulated by the state’s Gestational Carrier Agreement Act. Parentage rights and responsibilities legally belong to the intended parents.
District of Columbia
Surrogacy is legal in Washington, D.C., for intended parents and surrogates if they follow certain legal regulations.
As of 2016, gestational surrogacy is specifically permitted by statute. Pre-birth orders are routinely granted, provided that the statutory requirements are met.
Gestational surrogacy is specifically permitted by statute and New Hampshire law does not restrict who can become an intended parent through gestational surrogacy.
Gestational surrogacy agreements are permitted and generally pre-birth orders do not require a court appearance.
As of February 2021, New York law allows intended parents, gestational carriers, and their spouses to enter into enforceable gestational contracts, as long as they meet the requirements set forth by the law.
The courts are very accepting of many different types of parents, including gay couples, heterosexual couples, and single parents. Oregon laws allow a birth certificate to be easily changed after birth.
Gestational surrogacy is permitted because no statutes or case law prohibit it. All petitions are heard by the Chief Judge of Family Court in Providence, so outcomes tend to be more consistent than in other states
Surrogacy became legal in Washington in 2019. The new law allows for surrogacy contracts to be legally enforceable in the courts, and intended parents can obtain pre-birth orders.
Non-surrogacy-friendly states generally do not recognize or enforce surrogacy contracts, and they have statutory or case law which prohibits compensated surrogacy.
Pre-birth orders are generally not granted in these states. Compensated surrogacy agreements or any surrogacy agreement that which goes against the state’s laws may be subject to fines or criminal penalties.
Fortunately, as of June 2021, the only non-surrogacy-friendly state in the U.S. is Michigan. Michigan law forbids compensated surrogacy, and individuals who enter into surrogacy arrangements (other than compassionate surrogacy cases) are subject to criminal penalties.
The following states fall somewhere between surrogacy-friendly and non-surrogacy-friendly. Surrogacy is permitted, but the laws are more ambiguous, protection for surrogates and intended parents is more uncertain, and the legal process may be more complicated.
There are no surrogacy laws in Alabama that prohibit the practice of surrogacy, and the courts are generally favorable toward the surrogacy process.
There is no law governing surrogacy, but the courts are generally favorable.
An Arizona statue forbids “surrogate parent contracts,” and surrogacy contracts are unenforceable. However, gestational surrogacy continues to be practiced in Arizona.
Gestational surrogacy is specifically permitted in Arkansas. However, if an unmarried same-sex couple use an egg or sperm donor, only the biological parent can obtain a pre-birth order.
There is no law governing surrogacy and the courts are generally favorable to all types of parents.
Florida statutes permit gestational surrogacy. However, agreements are permitted only between legally married couples and only after the baby is born.
There is no law governing surrogacy and the courts are generally favorable to all types of parents.
Gestational surrogacy is permitted because there are no statutes or prior case law which prohibit it. However, only post-birth orders are granted.
There is no law governing surrogacy but the courts are generally favorable. Only parents who are genetically related to the baby may be recognized as legal parents in post-birth parentage orders.
Gestational surrogacy is specifically permitted by statute in Illinois, and the statute does not deem pre-birth parentage orders necessary. No parentage will be granted if there isn’t at least one parent genetically related to the child.
Surrogacy contracts are “void and unenforceable.” However, pre-birth parentage orders are still being granted for married same-sex couples, and when a married couple uses their own egg and sperm.
In 2018, the Iowa Supreme Court determined that surrogacy contracts are officially enforceable under Iowa law. A partial pre-birth order is possible.
There is no law governing surrogacy but pre-birth orders are typically granted if the intended parent(s) are using their own egg/sperm.
Gestational surrogacy isn’t governed by a state law, but is permitted because no statute or case law prevents it. Courts regularly issue pre-birth orders.
Uncompensated surrogacy is legal, but only for married heterosexual couples using their own egg/sperm.
Gestational surrogacy is specifically permitted by statute in Maryland, but compensation is strictly illegal under state law. The courts are generally favorable to all types of parents.
Gestational surrogacy is specifically permitted by statute in Massachusetts. Parentage may be granted to intended parents regardless of their biological relation or whether or not they’re same-sex. However, unmarried couples face specific limitations in terms of legal parentage.
There is no law governing surrogacy but the courts are generally favorable.
There is no law governing surrogacy but the courts are generally favorable. The court venue will dictate whether a pre- or post-birth order will be granted.
There is no law governing surrogacy but the courts generally only grant post-birth declarations.
There are no surrogacy laws in Montana, but surrogacy is legal and in practice in this state. Courts will generally grant pre-birth orders when at least one intended parent has a genetic relationship to the child.
Nebraska courts only permit uncompensated surrogacy in Nebraska, and the underlying contract is void and unenforceable.
Gestational surrogacy is practiced and permitted by New Jersey Gestational Carrier Agreement Act. This legislation provides for enforceable gestational carrier agreements and pre-birth orders under certain conditions.
Surrogacy agreements are neither expressly permitted nor prohibited. Pre-birth orders are typically granted.
Gestational surrogacy is permitted because no statutes or case law prohibit it.
Gestational carrier arrangements are permitted by state law, which states that a child born to a gestational carrier is the child of the intended parents.
Gestational surrogacy is specifically permitted by case law in Ohio. Pre-birth orders may be granted on a case-by-case basis.
There is no statute or published case prohibiting gestational surrogacy in Oklahoma. Pre-birth orders are granted on a case-by-case basis, and unmarried couples/single parents may not be declared legal parents post-birth.
Gestational surrogacy is permitted because no statutes or case law prohibit surrogacy.
There is no law governing surrogacy but the courts are generally favorable. Court venue will determine whether a pre- or post-birth order will be granted.
There is no law governing surrogacy but the courts are generally favorable and typically issue a pre-birth order.
There are no surrogacy laws in Tennessee that prohibit or regulate the compensation a surrogate can receive in this state.
Gestational surrogacy is specifically permitted by statute in Texas, though the laws only apply to married couples. Courts may occasionally issue a parentage declaration for individuals and unmarried couples.
Gestational surrogacy is permitted by state statute, which permits gestational surrogacy for married intended parents.
Gestational surrogacy is permitted by the Vermont Parentage Act of 2018, effective July 1, 2018.
Gestational surrogacy is permitted. However, the intended parents must be married, and compensation is limited to only medical and ancillary expenses.
The courts are generally favorable and intended parents may be declared legal parents in a pre-birth order regardless of their marriage status, biological relation, or whether or not they’re same-sex.
Pre-birth orders can be issued. However, a final order must be issued after the baby is born. The courts are more favorable to married couples.
Wyoming code neither authorizes or prohibits gestational surrogacy contracts.
Learn More About Becoming a Surrogate with Surrogate Parenting Services
Surrogate Parenting Services is proud to celebrate 30 Years of helping to bring dreams to life! Founded in 1990, Surrogate Parenting Services (SPS) is a full-service surrogacy program that offers both parties an exceptionally supportive environment throughout the surrogacy relationship. We’re passionate about creating ideal matches between surrogates and intended parents, so the journey is fulfilling for both sides and the future child is brought into this world in the best possible circumstances.
Learn more about our Surrogacy Program online or by calling (949) 363-9525.