If your family is considering working with a US-based gestational surrogate to bring a baby into your world, you have a very exciting journey ahead of you! This special time is a life changing one—and that’s why it’s so important for parents to do plenty of research ahead of beginning. This research allows for a more straightforward experience without anything unexpected cropping up.
Ahead of their journey, one of the most important elements for intended parents to research is their local surrogacy law and legislation. These laws cover everything from legality in different states to the rights and processes surrounding obtaining parentage when the baby is born. While some surrogacy laws remain the same in every state where it’s legal, other elements vary tremendously across state lines. This is why comprehensive and localized research is so important for surrogacy!
How Does Surrogacy Law Vary Across North America?
Surrogacy is both a legal and popular choice in much of North America; parts of Mexico, Canada, and the USA all support surrogacy. However, it is far from a “one size fits all” type of deal; in all three countries, the laws differ by state or province. In the US, there are 50 states to contend with! Some US states don’t allow the procedure at all, or have very restrictive laws surrounding it, while others (like California) welcome it with open arms.
While the laws about gestational surrogacy vary quite a lot stateside, we were able to break it down into three main categories: Proven, Conditional, and No-Go.
Proven US States
These states support surrogacy and are a great place to start your journey
- New York
- Rhode Island
- New Hampshire
Conditional US States
These states have specific laws surrounding surrogacy— depending on your individual circumstances, you may or may not be able to proceed
- New Mexico
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- South Carolina
- North Carolina
- West Virginia
- New Jersey
No-Go US States
Surrogacy here is illegal or very restricted—we don’t recommend this procedure in these states
Do Gestational Surrogates Have Rights?
Of course gestational surrogates have rights—they will be treated with utmost respect and gratitude throughout this entire process! In the US, they will also be given substantial compensation for their role as a surrogate, recieve a hefty benefits package, and see all their pregnancy-related expenses covered, from missed work to maternity clothes.
All that being said, gestational surrogates never have the right to parentage of the child they carry. You will be guaranteed parentage legally. In fact, there are many laws and procedures in place to protect everybody involved in the surrogacy process; the intended parents, their surrogate, and the coming baby. Your surrogate also must meet several crucial US surrogate requirements to be selected.
Once your family has matched with a surrogate, you will work together with both of your attorneys to draft a comprehensive document. This will include details like your birth plan, as well as enable you to legally establish parentage when your baby arrives.
Which States are Best for Surrogacy?
There are many US states which are ideal for surrogacy—and some are especially popular with both surrogates and intended parents. For instance, the progressive and comprehensive California surrogacy laws have attracted families from all over the country, and even across the world. At the end of the day, your ideal state for surrogacy will depend on the unique needs and circumstances of your family. If you are not sure which suits you best, don’t sit around wondering: speak to a professional! The team from your chosen surrogacy agency will be able to have a comprehensive conversation with you about your needs and help you determine which state works for your family.
Extraordinary Conceptions: Your Home for Surrogacy Support
At Extraordinary Conceptions, we understand what an enormous deal the entire surrogate process can be—we’ve experienced it ourselves! Over two decades ago, our founders welcomed their amazing twins into the world with the helping hand of a surrogate. Today, our agency provides support to families, surrogates, and egg donors across North America!