In the United States, the legal status of surrogacy depends on state law. In other words, surrogacy laws vary from state to state, with some being very friendly to the process and others less so.
In this post, we’re going to go over the surrogacy laws in all 50 states to give you a big-picture idea of how the surrogacy process works all over the country. Plus, we’ll also discuss how it’s possible to go through with surrogacy even if you live in a less surrogacy-friendly state.
What Are The Surrogacy Laws In All 50 States?
As we mentioned above, each state has its own surrogacy laws. This means that some states will be more “surrogacy-friendly” than others.
If you’re a hopeful surrogate or an intended parent, then this may all seem totally overwhelming! However, this is precisely why it’s so important to work with a surrogacy agency – they have legal and policy experts who will know exactly which state laws apply to your given situation.
That being said, let’s take a look at the basic surrogacy laws in all 50 states.
There are no statutes or published case law that explicitly permit or prohibit surrogacy.
However, Alabama is not a fully “surrogacy-friendly” state because pre-birth orders are not always granted and the results vary widely based upon the county. In most cases, post-birth adoptions are considered to be the easier and more efficient way to establish parentage in the state.
There are no statutes or published case law specifically permitting or prohibiting surrogacy.
Beginning in 2014, Alaska courts began granting pre-birth orders to married heterosexual couples who were both genetically related to the child. As of 2021, it’s unclear if the family courts will grant pre-birth orders under other circumstances.
Arizona is one of the least surrogacy-friendly states in the country. According to Arizona Revised Statute § 25-218, surrogacy contracts are illegal and cannot be created or enforced in a court of law.
However, gestational surrogacy is still practiced in the state. Plus, following the ruling Soos v. Superior Court (1994), Arizona family courts began to issue pre-birth orders in some cases, even if surrogacy contracts remain unenforceable.
RELATED ARTICLE: Surrogacy Contracts: How Do They Work?
According to Arkansas Code § 9-10-201, gestational surrogacy is 100% legal.
Additionally, pre-birth orders are granted to married or unmarried intended parents when at least one shares a genetic relationship to the child. Any intended parent who is not genetically related to the child must complete a second-parent adoption.
As of 2021, California is one of the most surrogacy-friendly states in the entire country. Gestational surrogacy and commercial surrogacy are explicitly allowed by statute California Family Law Sections 7960 – 7962 (2013) as well as published case law Johnson v. Calvert (1993) and Buzzanca v. Buzzanca (1998).
Additionally, it’s easy for intended parents to get pre-birth orders, regardless of their genetic relationship to the child.
As of May 6, 2021, gestational surrogacy and commercial surrogacy are 100% legal and permitted under Colorado Surrogacy Agreement Act (C.R.S. 19-4.5-101 et seq).
Additionally, it’s exceptionally easy to get a pre-birth order, regardless of the applicant’s genetic relationship to the child. As a result, Colorado is considered to be very surrogacy-friendly.
Connecticut is also considered to be surrogacy-friendly. For instance, under Connecticut General Statutes §7-48a, the intended parents must be named on the birth certificate as the child’s legal parents.
Additionally, pre-birth orders are almost always granted, especially following a 2011 Connecticut Supreme Court decision ruling that Connecticut Vital Records may not refuse to list a non-biological parent on a birth certificate.
As a surrogacy-friendly state, gestational surrogacy in Delaware is expressly permitted by Delaware Code 13, § 8-801 through § 8-810.
Additionally, it’s exceptionally easy for intended parents to get pre-birth orders.
Gestational surrogacy is permitted by Florida statute (Ch.742.15 FL Stat.), but only for married couples who are allowed to file Petitions for Affirmation of Parental Status.
However, unmarried intended parents can still go through with surrogacy in Florida, either by filing paternity and maternity petitions or through pre-planned adoptions.
RELATED ARTICLE: Surrogacy In Florida: Your Complete Guide
As of 2021, there are no statutes or published case law that explicitly permit or prohibit any form of surrogacy.
However, Georgia courts will almost always uphold surrogacy contracts and issue pre-birth orders, including in cases where there is a single intended parent or when neither intended parent shares a genetic relationship with the child.
There are no statutes or published case law that permit or prohibit either form of surrogacy.
However, Hawaii is not considered to be fully surrogacy-friendly since the state does not grant pre-birth orders. Instead, intended parents with a genetic relationship can apply for a post-birth order and those with no genetic relationship must complete a post-birth adoption order.
There are no laws governing surrogacy as of 2021, but the courts are usually favorable.
However, pre-birth orders are not granted in the state. Furthermore, post-birth orders are only granted if at least one of the intended parents is genetically related to the child. Finally, recent case law (June of 2016) ruled that a non-genetic parent must complete a post-birth adoption order.
Illinois is extremely surrogacy-friendly – under the Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act, surrogacy is 100% legal, including commercial surrogacy.
Additionally, pre-birth and post-birth orders are not necessary under state law. Instead, intended parents can bypass the courts and go straight to Illinois Vital Records to obtain a birth certificate, as long as they’ve met all statutory requirements and filed all necessary certifications with both the Illinois Department of Public Health and the delivery hospital before the child’s birth.
According to Indiana Code §31-20-1-1 (p.421), all surrogacy contracts are “void and unenforceable.” Although gestational surrogacy still continues, this state law makes Indiana one of the least surrogacy-friendly states.
Additionally, due to a recent ruling in 2013, the courts will only issue pre-birth orders if medical documentation proves that both intended parents are genetically related to the child.
Surrogacy is implicitly allowed by Iowa state law. Plus, in February of 2018, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in Case No. 17-0376 that surrogacy contracts are enforceable and do not violate the constitutional rights of the surrogate carrier.
Furthermore, Section 641-99.15 of the Iowa Administrative Code outlines the exact steps for issuing birth certificates to children born by gestational surrogates.
There are no statutes or published case law specifically permitting or prohibiting surrogacy.
However, Kansas courts usually grant pre-birth orders to intended parents who are genetically related to the child. If they’re not genetically related to the child, but are married to the genetic intended parent, then they will have to complete a stepparent adoption. Finally, unmarried non-genetic intended parents must complete a post-birth adoption outside the state.
There is no state law or published case that explicitly allows or prohibits gestational surrogacy in Kentucky. However, traditional surrogacy contracts are void and compensation for facilitating a surrogacy contract is not allowed.
Additionally, pre-birth orders may be granted, but this is on a case-by-case basis.
As of 2021, Louisiana is one of the least surrogacy-friendly states in the country. According to Louisiana Surrogacy Bill HB 1102, which went into effect on August 1, 2016, gestational surrogacy is limited to heterosexual married couples who are both genetically related to the child and are state residents.
Additionally, commercial surrogacy is strictly prohibited in the state and anyone violating the statute may be subject to civil and criminal penalties.
Finally, pre-birth orders may be issued, but this is only under very limited circumstances.
As of July 1, 2016, the Maine Parentage Act Title 19A Chapter 61 explicitly allows surrogacy, including commercial surrogacy.
Additionally, pre-birth orders are readily available in all scenarios.
According to published case law re Roberto d.B. (2003), all forms of surrogacy are implicitly allowed.
Plus, pre-birth orders are available to intended parents in just about every circumstance. If a pre-birth order isn’t issued, then post-birth adoptions are readily available to married and unmarried couples.
There are three published case laws that allow surrogacy:
Additionally, pre-birth orders are easily available to intended parents, regardless of their genetic relationship with the child. As of 2021, only unmarried couples face some legal limitations in establishing parentage, although this can be solved via post-birth orders.
The state of Michigan is considered to be one of the least surrogacy-friendly states in the nation due to the serious limitations imposed by the Michigan Surrogate Parenting Act MCL Section 722.851.
According to this state law, all surrogacy contracts, agreements, and arrangements are “void and unenforceable.” Additionally, commercial surrogacy is strictly forbidden and subject to criminal penalties.
There are no statutes or published case law specifically permitting or prohibiting surrogacy. Additionally, it’s possible to get a pre-birth order in certain counties and under certain circumstances, but this will vary widely depending on the county judge.
As of 2021, there are no state laws or published cases that explicitly permit or prohibit surrogacy.
Additionally, Mississippi courts are moderately friendly to pre-birth orders, especially if at least one intended parent is genetically related to the child.
There are no state laws or published cases that either permit or prohibit surrogacy in Missouri.
Plus, it is possible to get a pre- or post-birth order, especially if at least one of the intended parents is the biological parent to the child.
As of 2021, Montana has no state law or published case law that explicitly permits or prohibits surrogacy. However, the state courts are usually pretty friendly to surrogacy agreements.
Additionally, both pre- and post-birth orders can be easily granted, although a single intended parent with no genetic relationship to the child may have a harder time establishing parental rights.
Nebraska is one of the least surrogacy-friendly states in the country. According to Nebraska statute R.R.S. Neb. 25-21, 200 (2007), all surrogacy contracts are “void and unenforceable” and commercial surrogacy is not allowed.
Plus, pre-birth orders are not granted. The courts may grant post-birth orders, but only to the biological fathers – all other intended parents must complete a post-birth adoption process.
Nevada is very surrogacy-friendly. Under Nev. Rev. Stat. NRS 126.500-126.810, gestational surrogacy – including commercial surrogacy – is 100% legal and protected.
Additionally, pre-birth orders are easy to obtain under all circumstances.
New Hampshire is also extremely surrogacy-friendly. Under N.H.Rev.Stat.Ann. 168-B, gestational surrogacy is completely legal, including commercial surrogacy.
Plus, pre-birth orders are readily available to all intended parents, including those not genetically related to the child.
In recent years, New Jersey went from being not surrogacy-friendly to very surrogacy-friendly. The New Jersey Gestational Carrier Agreement Act of 2018 has overturned previous published case laws A.H.W. and P.W. v. G.H.B (2000) and In re T.J.S. (2012) to now fully allow gestational surrogacy, including commercial surrogacy.
Plus, pre-birth orders are easily available to all intended parents.
New Mexico’s unique statute (N.M. Stat. Ann.§40-11A-801) states that gestational surrogacy contracts are neither permitted nor prohibited.
Additionally, Vital Records has started issuing pre-birth orders to all intended parents. However, unmarried intended parents may have a harder time establishing parental rights, depending on the judge ruling for the case.
Until very recently, New York was not a very surrogacy-friendly state. According to New York Code Section 8-122, surrogacy contracts were void and unenforceable.
However, as of February 15, 2021, the Child Parent Security Act (CPSA) allows for commercial gestational surrogacy contracts, but only for intended parents who are New York residents. The CPSA also allows state courts to issue pre-birth orders, but they only take effect after birth.
As of 2021, there are no state laws or published case laws that permit or prohibit surrogacy.
Additionally, it is possible to get pre-birth orders, but this depends on the circumstances and the county in question. As a result, North Carolina is considered to be moderately surrogacy-friendly.
RELATED ARTICLE: Guide To Surrogacy In North Carolina
According to N.D. Cent. Code 14-18, gestational surrogacy is explicitly allowed under state law.
Plus, pre-birth orders are easy to get, especially if at least one of the intended parents is genetically related to the child.
According to published case law J.F. v. D.B., 879 N.E.2d 740 (2007), the Ohio Supreme Court confirmed that gestational surrogacy is fully legal and permitted.
Additionally, pre-birth orders are regularly granted in about half of Ohio’s 88 counties while post-birth orders are granted in the other half.
When the Oklahoma Gestational Agreement Act (House Bill 2468) went into effect on May 15, 2019, the state of Oklahoma became very surrogacy-friendly. This state law explicitly allows commercial gestational surrogacy, establishes the framework for surrogacy contracts, and allows pre-birth orders to be issued to all intended parents.
However, the surrogacy contract must first be validated by the court before the surrogate gets pregnant via embryo transfer.
The state of Oregon is considered to be moderately surrogacy-friendly. There are no statutes or published case laws that permit or prohibit the practice and it’s fairly easy for intended parents to file and receive pre-birth orders (known as judgments in Oregon).
As of 2021, there are no statutes or published case law that explicitly permit or prohibit surrogacy. However, there is unpublished case law that permits surrogacy:
It is possible to get pre-birth orders in certain counties, but this varies widely depending on the judge and county. This is especially true if the intended parents are not genetically related to the child, although post-birth orders and post-birth adoptions are also available in these cases.
As of January 01, 2021, Rhode Island amended its Uniform Parentage Act to explicitly allow gestational surrogacy, including commercial surrogacy.
Additionally, pre-birth orders are granted, but only as long as one of the intended parents is a US resident. Finally, it’s fairly easy to navigate Rhode Island’s surrogacy process as all surrogacy petitions are heard by the Chief Judge of Family Court in Providence.
According to published case law Mid-South Ins. Co. v. Doe, gestational surrogacy contracts are 100% legal and enforceable.
Plus, pre-birth orders are easy to get, regardless of whether the intended parents are genetically related to the child or not.
As of 2021, there are no state laws or published case laws that permit or prohibit surrogacy in South Dakota.
Furthermore, intended parents can easily get pre-birth orders under all circumstances.
Tennessee statute Tenn. Code Ann. 36-1-102(48) simply defines “surrogacy” for the purposes of its adoption code while neither permitting nor prohibiting it.
Furthermore, pre-birth orders are only possible if at least one intended parent is genetically related to the child. The intended parent who is not related to the child will then have to complete a second-parent or stepparent adoption after the child is born.
Finally, under the case law In re Adoption of Male Child A.F.C., the Supreme Court of Tennessee ruled that if an egg donor is used, the gestational carrier must remain on the birth certificate until the second parent completes the post-birth adoption order.
Texas is fairly surrogacy-friendly. The Texas Family Code §160-751 through §160-763 both allows gestational surrogacy arrangements and sets forth the requirements for a valid and enforceable surrogacy contract.
Plus, according to this statute, intended parents can easily get pre-birth orders as long as a Texas court has validated the pre-existing surrogacy contract.
RELATED ARTICLE: Surrogacy In Texas: How To Get Started
Gestational surrogacy is fully legal and permitted for married intended parents by Utah Code Ann. § 78B-15-801 (2008).
According to the statute, qualified intended parents must have their surrogacy contract validated before the birth. Then, once the baby is born, the court orders Utah Vital Records to issue the birth certificate with the names of the intended parents.
As of July 1, 2018, gestational surrogacy is 100% legal in Vermont under the Vermont Parentage Act of 2018. The statute also makes it exceptionally easy for intended parents to file and receive pre-birth orders.
Gestational surrogacy is allowed under Virginia’s Assisted Conception Statute, but the process of establishing legal parentage is complicated. Neither pre- nor post-birth orders are used – instead, intended parents must establish their legal parental rights in one of two ways:
- Court-approved model. This requires the court’s pre-approval before the surrogate’s in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle as well as a home study and court hearing.
- Non-court model. The intended parents must file a Surrogate Consent and Report Form with the Virginia Birth Registrar at least three (3) days after the child is born.
As a result, Virginia is not considered to be very surrogacy-friendly.
After its amended Uniform Parentage Act went into effect on January 1, 2019, Washington became one of the most surrogacy-friendly states in the country. Plus, if the surrogacy contract complies with all state laws, then intended parents can easily get a pre-birth order.
According to W.VA Code 61-2-14h(e)(3), gestational surrogacy – including commercial surrogacy – is fully legal and permitted.
Additionally, the state courts will grant pre-birth orders in almost every case.
According to the Wisconsin Supreme Court decision, Paternity of F.T.R., Rosecky v. Schissel (2013), traditional surrogacy is explicitly allowed and gestational surrogacy is implicitly allowed. Plus, surrogacy contracts are upheld as long as they do not run contrary to “the child’s best interest.”
Intended parents can get pre-birth orders in most circumstances.
According to WY Stat 14-2-403(d), state law neither permits nor prohibits surrogacy.
However, surrogacy is extremely rare in Wyoming, mostly due to practical reasons. As a result, it’s very difficult to predict how a Wyoming court will rule on a pre- or post-birth order or what intended parents can expect during the surrogacy process.
Can I Work With Surrogacy By Faith In Any State?
What happens if you live in one of these states that’s less surrogacy-friendly? Or maybe you live in one of the states where commercial surrogacy is not legal.
Don’t worry, you can still take part in the surrogacy journey, either as a hopeful surrogate or intended parent. You just need to find the right surrogacy agency!
Luckily for you, Surrogacy By Faith is a California-based agency that works with people from all over the country. We have experts on our team who can determine exactly which state laws may or may not apply in your given situation. Plus, there are workarounds to living in a less surrogacy-friendly state.
If you’re interested in becoming a surrogate with us, please fill out our Surrogate Initial Inquiry form. Or, if you’re interested in working with us as intended parents, then fill out our Intended Parents Initial Inquiry Form. You can get started right away!