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For many hopeful parents who can’t conceive children conventionally, surrogacy has become an incredibly popular option. It’s given thousands of people the chance to start a perfect family! 

However, not all states have the same surrogacy laws, meaning that some are more “surrogacy-friendly” than others. In this article, we’re going to discuss everything you need to know, including what to look for in surrogacy-friendly states and which are the best states for surrogacy in 2022.  

Is Surrogacy Legal In All 50 States? 

Not exactly, no. First of all, it’s important to differentiate between the two different types of surrogacy: traditional vs. gestational. Depending on the laws of the state in question, one type of surrogacy may be legal while the other isn’t. 

However, gestational surrogacy has become far more common than traditional surrogacy. That being said, there are still some states that have laws against or limiting various forms of gestational surrogacy. 

Before starting your surrogacy journey, you should contact the agency you’re interested in working with to see what state laws may or may not apply in your case. They’ll have experts on staff who will know all the ins and outs of the process and who can guide you through every step of the way.  

When Do You Need The Help Of A Surrogacy Lawyer? 

You should always work with a surrogacy lawyer! Surrogacy laws vary from state to state, so a surrogacy lawyer will make sure that everything stays 100% legal and that every party is always totally protected. Plus, most states have a legal requirement that the surrogate and the intended parents have separate legal representation to avoid any conflicts of interest. 

This includes drafting the surrogacy contract, which depends on the laws of the state in question. This is one of the most important documents in the entire surrogacy process, so you have to make sure that it’s totally bulletproof. A good surrogacy lawyer will ensure that the interests and health of both the surrogate mother and the intended parents are adequately represented.  

However, when you work with a surrogacy agency, they automatically find a surrogacy lawyer for you to work with. This is one of the major benefits of working with an agency – they can guide you through every step of the surrogacy process, which can be really complicated and easily overwhelm a newcomer.

For more information on surrogacy lawyers that you can work with, you can also check out the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys (AAARTA). They have a list of accredited lawyers in each state so you can receive expert legal advice that applies to your current living situation.  

Which State Laws Matter With Your Surrogacy? 

As we mentioned above, state laws vary from state to state. This is why some states are considered “surrogacy-friendly” while others are a little bit more of a challenge. 

However, surrogacy agencies like Surrogacy By Faith allow potential surrogates and intended parents to work with one another from all over the United States. For example, the intended parents might be located in a less surrogacy-friendly state while the surrogate lives in a state that’s super surrogacy-friendly. So which state laws matter? 

It all comes down to where the baby is born! These are the laws that take precedence. In other words, the state where the baby is born will have legal jurisdiction. That’s why choosing an agency that has sufficient resources to work with people all over the country is so important to having a successful and healthy surrogacy journey. 

What Makes A State “Surrogacy Friendly”? 

We’ve established that each state has different surrogacy laws, making some of them more friendly to surrogacy than others. But what do we mean exactly when we say that a state is “surrogacy friendly”?

Let’s take a look at what you should look for to determine if a state is, in fact, surrogacy-friendly: 

There are clear laws on surrogacy 

Not every state has clear laws on the surrogacy process, so a surrogacy-friendly state will have explicit descriptions on what can and can’t be done. 

Additionally, a surrogacy-friendly state will explicitly allow commercial surrogacy – this means that it’s totally legal to pay the surrogate mother for her time and work. Because make no mistake: being a surrogate is a job that requires a great deal of commitment. As a result, offering fair compensation can help ensure a more harmonious relationship and healthier pregnancy. 

You can get a pre-birth order

Establishing legal parentage is a crucial part of the surrogacy process. Essentially, it means that the intended parents can easily and efficiently establish that they are the newborn baby’s legal parents, even if they didn’t actually give birth to the child in question. 

This is legally done via a parentage order, also known as a birth order. The intended parents file this documentation through the state’s Office of Vital Records and – once approved by the family court judge – they become the legal parents of the child. 

However, surrogacy-friendly states will make this process extra easy on intended parents by allowing pre-birth orders. This means that they are already the legal parents before the child is even born so that there is no complicated legal wrangling after the delivery. 

In states that aren’t so surrogacy-friendly, it might be necessary for the intended parents to legally adopt the child after the birth, adding more steps to the process. This can result in additional headaches for the intended parents and make the process unnecessarily complicated.

Surrogacy contracts are enforceable

The importance of an effective surrogacy contract can’t be overstated: you absolutely need to make sure that all your bases are covered, both as a surrogate or as the intended parents. It should cover every important bit of information, from determining responsibilities to establishing how much the surrogate will get paid

However, not all states consider surrogacy contracts to be enforceable. As a result, a surrogacy-friendly state will uphold your contract, as long as it’s legally sound and follows all the state laws. The best way to ensure this is to find an agency that works with an accredited surrogacy lawyer. 

Surrogacy-friendly insurance policies are available

It is possible to have part of your surrogacy process covered by an insurance policy. This will depend heavily on your coverage and plan, but thankfully a broker through your surrogacy agency can work with you to secure an insurance plan that can help you pay for the process. 

For instance, if your potential surrogate does not have a surrogacy-friendly insurance policy, then your agency will either: 

  1. Purchase a policy from New Life Agency (underwritten by Lloyd’s of London) to cover the surrogate’s pregnancy.  
  2. Or purchase a separate policy for the surrogate through the agency’s specialized insurance broker.  

 

Either way, this can save intended parents a great deal of money for the surrogacy process! 

There is access to top-notch fertility clinics

For most intended parents, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is the first step in the overall surrogacy journey. Once a viable embryo is created, then the surrogate can become pregnant through a procedure known as embryo transfer. 

However, in order to complete a successful impregnation process, you’ll need to find a top-notch fertility clinic. The most surrogacy-friendly states will have multiple clinics, usually located in large cities, that have the resources and physicians who can perform all the necessary procedures. 

You can easily find a great surrogacy agency

If you want to have a successful and healthy surrogacy journey, one of the most important steps is finding the best surrogacy agency available to you. Luckily, the most surrogacy-friendly states usually have multiple agencies to meet the growing demand for surrogacy services.

However, it’s important to remember that the best agencies will work with surrogates and intended parents from all over the country, so you don’t necessarily have to work with an agency that’s located in your home state. They’ll be fluent in all the state laws, regardless of where you live, so that the surrogacy process and establishing parentage can go off without a hitch.  

RELATED ARTICLE: How To Find The Best Surrogacy Agency In California

Is Surrogacy More Expensive In A Surrogacy-Friendly State? 

The cost of surrogacy for intended parents will ultimately depend on the state. This is based on the simple economic principle of supply and demand – surrogates located in more surrogacy-friendly states generally command higher pay because they’re in higher demand. 

However, an agency can help you find a surrogate that best fits your budget while not cutting corners. You always want to find the right woman for the job by making sure that she meets all the necessary surrogate requirements. This includes the general requirements set by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) as well as the agency-specific requirements set by your agency.  

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What Are The Most Surrogacy-Friendly States In 2022? 

Although the laws are changing, as of 2022 the most surrogacy-friendly states include: 

  • California 
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut 
  • Delaware 
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • Nevada 
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Washington
  • Vermont

 

This means that they have both the most surrogacy-friendly laws as well as the best resources, including fertility clinics and surrogacy agencies, available within the state. 

However, there are other states that – while not as surrogacy-friendly as those listed above – are still considered to be very accommodating to surrogacy. These include: 

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • New Mexico
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Utah 
  • Wisconsin 
  • West Virginia 

 

Finally, the states that are the least surrogacy-friendly include: 

  • Arizona
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Michigan
  • Tennessee 
  • Virginia 
  • Wyoming 

 

However, since surrogacy laws change regularly, it’s important to always double check with an agency expert to see which – if any – laws might apply to your particular situation. 

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What Do I Do If I Don’t Live In A Surrogacy-Friendly State? 

If you don’t live in a surrogacy-friendly state, don’t panic! You can still move forward with the process if you simply choose to work with a reputable and well-established surrogacy agency. 

The best agencies can connect surrogate mothers and intended parents from all over the country. For instance, Surrogacy By Faith is located in Southern California, but we work with people from all 50 states. 

Plus, we have a simple, guiding philosophy: Every child is a gift. And we cherish those gifts by creating an environment that is stable, nurturing, and positive, from start to finish. 

We take the time to really get to know our surrogates and match them with the right intended parents. As a result, many of our surrogates have told us that it was a revelatory experience that changed their lives for the better. This is probably why so many of our surrogates come back and work with us over and over again!

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!