In every surrogacy agreement, the intended parents need to complete certain legal actions to officially establish themselves as the child’s legal parents. These actions vary by state and are based on the specific circumstances of the surrogacy. 

As with every other aspect in your surrogacy journey, SPS is with you every step of the way, and we will help guide you through this process! 

Understanding the laws

If you’ve researched the legal issues surrounding surrogacy, you may have come across the Uniform Parentage Act (UPA). Under this law, the person who gives birth to the child is presumed to be the biological and legal mother of that child. If the mother is married, her spouse is presumed to be the child’s biological and legal father. 

Of course, this does not take gestational surrogacy or LGBT intended parents into account. But because of the UPA, the court must acknowledge parentage to establish the intended parents as the child’s legal parents.  

The UPA was first enacted in 1973 and has undergone several revisions over the years. In 2002, it was updated to include surrogacy agreements and to establish the parentage of children born from these contracts. However, not all states have adopted these revisions. 

Establishing parentage in California 

California is one of the friendliest states for surrogacy, and the California Family Code § 7960 makes the gestational surrogacy process clear and simple for surrogates and intended parents. 

In California, legal parental rights can be established before the child is born by filling out a pre-birth order. A pre-birth order is a legal document signed by the intended parent(s) and surrogate that establishes the intended parent(s) as the legal parent(s) of the child before the surrogate gives birth. 

How SPS guides you through the process

At SPS, 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

To obtain the pre-birth order, SPS sends the necessary information to the attorney for the intended parents at around 10–12 weeks of pregnancy. This way, there is plenty of time to avoid issues if the baby is born premature.

Then, the attorney submits the documents to the court. Because it’s a stipulated judgement, the judge will review the documents to ensure everything is accurate and sign off on them. (There are very few, if any, courts that require physical attendance.)

Once the agreement is signed by the judge, the documents will be sent to the hospital where the child will be delivered. This document is required to put the name(s) of the intended parent(s) on the birth certificate instead of the surrogate’s name.

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.

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