Do you dream of becoming a parent but need to use assisted reproduction? Or maybe you’re an aspiring surrogate who just wants to give the gift of life? Either way, Oregon is a state where it’s exceptionally easy to go through the surrogacy journey, both for surrogates and intended parents.
It’s actually one of the most surrogacy-friendly states in the country! In this article, we’ll break down Oregon laws about surrogacy, establishing legal parentage, surrogacy contracts, requirements, costs, and even compensation.
Is Surrogacy Legal In Oregon?
Yes, absolutely! Gestational surrogacy is 100% legal in Oregon – there is no statute or published case law that prohibits it.
Oregon is a surrogacy-friendly state. The system and laws here favor surrogacy, making it easy for intended parents to build the family of their dreams. In fact, Oregon is so surrogacy-friendly that it’s informally known as “The Surrogacy State”. It also attracts a huge number of intended parents from overseas, especially Israel.
Additionally, the state has some of the best fertility clinics in the country. The ORM Fertility clinic is especially prestigious and is based in Portland as well as overseas in Israel and China. Other known clinics include:
- The Fertility Center of Oregon – Located in the city of Eugene.
- Women’s Care: Obstetrics, Gynecology & Midwifery Center – Eugene and Springfield.
- Pacific Women’s Center – Eugene.
- Salem Health Family Birth Center – Salem.
- Hope Pregnancy Clinic – Non-profit in Salem.
- Northwest Fertility Center – Portland.
How Do You Establish Legal Parentage For Surrogacy In Oregon?
Establishing legal parentage is an important part of the surrogacy process. It’s just a fancy way of legally saying: Who are the child’s parents?
Luckily, Oregon makes it easy for intended parents to establish legal parentage. Similar to surrogacy laws in California – another surrogacy-friendly state – Oregon allows intended parents to file what are known as pre-birth parentage orders.
A pre-birth order is a legal agreement signed by all parties (including the surrogate) that establishes the intended parents as the child’s legal parents before the child is born. This isn’t allowed in every US state – it’s really only common in surrogacy-friendly states like California or Oregon. If a pre-birth parentage order has been approved by a family court judge, then the hospital where the child is delivered must legally put the names of the intended parents on the birth certificate.
However, you can also file a post-birth parentage order. This is basically the same thing, except that it’s done after the child is born. This is because Oregon is surrogacy-friendly at every stage of the process, even after the child has been delivered. It’s important to note that in Oregon, unlike in other states, these parentage orders are specifically called “judgments”.
Finally, if the intended parents are unable to obtain a pre- or post-birth parentage order (or “judgment”), then they must file for a post-birth adoption. These are usually employed when neither intended parent is related to the child.
Before we move on, let’s take a look at a few more aspects of establishing legal parentage in Oregon.
Do You Need To Live In Oregon To Get A Pre-Birth Parentage Order?
No, a pre-birth order is possible even if the intended parents or surrogates don’t live in Oregon. Remember, this state really is friendly to the surrogacy journey and makes it easy for intended parents to build their family!
Let’s break this down quickly:
- In order for the judge to grant the order, the surrogate must plan on delivering the baby in Oregon.
- If the delivery unexpectedly happens outside the state, then it’s still likely that the judge will grant the order.
- Oregon’s Office Of Vital Records will most likely honor a pre-birth parentage order from another state if it’s a court-certified copy.
The Oregon Birth Certificate Process Is Also Surrogacy-Friendly
Oregon also has a very flexible birth certificate process. In fact, it’s so easy for intended parents that other states like Texas have followed Oregon’s lead to make themselves more surrogacy-friendly.
Let’s take a quick look at what you need to know:
- The time frame is usually 10 days after the birth, but you can get it expedited to 3 business days for a fee.
- The intended parents – who now become the legal parents – will be listed as Parent 1 and Parent 2. You don’t have to list the surrogate and you can even remove their name after the fact.
- The Office Of Vital Records will also honor a second-parent adoption, even from outside the state.
What Does A Surrogacy Contract In Oregon Need To Include?
A surrogacy contract is especially important in Oregon. An attorney who specializes in reproductive law and surrogacy and your surrogacy agency will draft it and deal with the ins and outs of this legal process. That’s especially helpful since it can get quite complicated, even in a surrogacy-friendly state.
The contract must cover all aspects of the surrogacy, including:
- Rights and responsibilities of all parties.
- Potential risks and liabilities.
- Surrogate compensation, including lost wages and expenses.
- How legal parentage will be established.
- Any expectations for contact.
- Delivery plans and expected location.
- Agreements on selective reduction if the surrogate gets pregnant with twins or triplets.
Under Oregon law, two sets of attorneys, one representing the intended parents and one representing the surrogate, must negotiate the contract. This makes sure that everyone’s interests and health are protected, especially considering how sensitive and emotional the surrogacy journey can be.
State law also requires that the contract must be finalized before any part of the surrogacy process, including medical procedures, may begin.
What Is The Surrogacy Process In Oregon?
We’ve put together a detailed breakdown of the surrogacy process for both surrogates and intended parents. We can summarize it as follows:
- The intended parents can start the process of preparing a viable embryo at a fertility clinic in Oregon. Most clinics are found in the major cities like Portland, Salem, Eugene, and Springfield.
- Both intended parents and future surrogates send their application to a surrogacy agency.
- Surrogates will have to complete a medical screening and make sure they pass the psychological and health requirements.
- Then the agency will match the intended parents with the right surrogate.
- Your agency will work with an Oregon surrogacy lawyer to draft a contract.
- Once the contract is finalized then the surrogate can undergo embryo transfer.
After the surrogate becomes pregnant, intended parents can obtain a pre-birth parentage order at this time.
What Are The Requirements For Becoming A Surrogate In Oregon?
Becoming a surrogate is a truly selfless act. It comes from the heart and it means so much to the intended parents – you’re giving them the greatest gift of all: a new life. That being said, it can be a strenuous journey, so you’ll have to be prepared.
Additionally, in order to qualify as a surrogate in Oregon, you must:
- Have already had a child of your own and are currently parenting at least one child.
- Have had successful deliveries that are documented by medical records.
- Be between the ages of 21 to 41.
- Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) below 32.
- Be a citizen, legal resident, or legal immigrant of the United States.
- Not receive public benefits like cash assistance, welfare, public housing, or section 8.
How Much Do Surrogates Get Paid In Oregon?
This depends, but it’s generally a pretty good amount. Surrogates are in high demand there and they can command a higher base salary.
As a surrogate, you can expect to make anywhere between $45,000 to $65,000 in base salary alone. This doesn’t include additional compensation that you may be entitled to, including:
- Medical procedures like mock cycle, embryo transfer, or medication.
- OB-GYN checkups.
- Maternity clothes, housekeeping, and a monthly allowance.
- Travel to and from appointments.
- Lost wages (if applicable).
- Medical and/or term life insurance.
- Child care (if bed rest is required).
- Independent legal representation.
- Psychological counseling.
How Much Does Surrogacy Cost In Oregon?
This also depends, but the average cost of surrogacy for intended parents in Oregon is anywhere between $80,000 and $130,000. This includes:
- Surrogate base salary.
- Extra costs (surrogate benefits listed above)
- Agency fees.
- Legal costs.
How Do I Find The Right Surrogacy Agency In Oregon?
It’s important to understand: Surrogacy is a journey. Like any journey, especially one that can be challenging, it’s best to have a guide that can help you through the ups and downs. That’s what a surrogacy agency does – it guides you all the way down the path until you create your new, beautiful family.
Here at Surrogacy By Faith, we work with intended parents and surrogates from Oregon but also from any other surrogacy-friendly state. We work extra hard to find the perfect match between intended parents and surrogates and make sure we get to know both of them before matching them. This keeps the journey smooth and everyone healthy and happy.
We’re guided by our Christian values, but we don’t limit ourselves to working with only Christians. Instead, we see it as our mission to help intended parents build their perfect family or aspiring surrogates fulfill their dreams of giving the gift of life.