Surrogacy Legal Information

We strive to provide our patients with the most accurate and up-to-date surrogacy legal information. This page has been vetted by Attorney Richard Geisler.

California is one of the most legal-friendly states for compensated surrogacy in the nation. California surrogacy law facilitates the establishment of parentage and protects and ensures the rights of parents.

The California Center for Reproductive Medicine (CACRM) wants to make certain that prospective parents, known as Intended Parents, and their gestational carriers are protected legally and have access to experts in the field of surrogacy law.

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Comprehensive California Surrogacy Legislation

In 2013 and 2015, the California legislature passed legislation that established well-regulated legal guidelines for commercial or compensated surrogacy. The purpose and the result of this legislation is that intended parents can be confident and certain they will receive the legal parental rights to their child born through surrogacy. California’s code and process make it a leader in the nation for securely becoming a surrogate or a parent via surrogacy, protecting all parties.

California surrogacy code does not discriminate and affords all same-sex couples, married and unmarried, the same rights and legal protections as opposite-sex parents.

In California, Intended Parents establish their parental relationship with their child before the birth occurs, allowing for recognition of their parental rights at the hospital from the very moment the baby is born.

Surrogacy Attorneys

CACRM will refer you to lawyers who are experienced in assisted reproductive technology and surrogacy law and the entire process including contracting, parental rights, passports, birth certificates, hospital administration, and travel matters.

Birth Certificates

California allows the names of the parents to be on the birth certificate without needing post-birth legal action. California allows for same-sex parents to be listed on birth certificates as either mother, father, or parent. For single male Intended Parents in California, there is no requirement that a woman be listed on the birth certificate.

The Surrogacy Contract

To avoid any perceived conflicts of interest, California requires parents and their surrogate mother to have different attorneys representing each party during the development of the surrogacy agreement, also known as the carrier agreement.

The surrogacy agreement must be finalized, executed, and notarized before the surrogate may start specific fertility medication in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle.

The surrogacy agreement typically covers the following (partial list):

• Risks and responsibilities and duties and obligations of both parties

• Surrogate compensation based on specific milestones, including expenses

• Agreement on potentially contentious issues such as amniocentesis, selective reduction, pregnancy termination, and carrying multiples

  • Expectations for diet and lifestyle habits, communication between parents, and attendance at medical appointments
  • Duration of the liability of the Intended Parents for their surrogate’s medical costs and the medical costs of baby

• Any insurance coverages to be used and the responsibilities of both parties regarding premiums

• Arrangements for any pre-birth or parentage orders

Lawyers should discuss directly all the important issues Intended Parents and their surrogate could face. The surrogacy agreement will serve as a roadmap for their surrogacy journey.

Signing surrogacy contracts

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