The United States does not regulate surrogacy on a federal level, and surrogacy laws by state greatly vary. A few states, often called “surrogacy-friendly states,” provide complete legal protections for surrogacy as well as easy access to parental birth orders. On the other hand, a small number of “surrogacy-unfriendly” states have essentially outlawed commercial surrogacy or have extremely burdensome restrictions. Most states fall in between this range, with differing approaches to surrogacy contracts, establishing parental rights, and other legal factors.
We’ve put together this guide to surrogacy laws in the United States as a starting point for intended parents interested in surrogacy. Laws can change quickly, and how the laws are applied can even vary from county to county in the same state. For this reason, intended parents should always consult with a legal expert experienced in surrogacy laws in their state (and/or the state in which they intend to pursue surrogacy).
A note on traditional surrogacy: this article will only focus on laws related to gestational surrogacy, where the surrogate has no genetic relationship to the baby. Traditional surrogacy (where the surrogate provides her eggs for the pregnancy) involves many more complex legal, ethical, and emotional considerations. For that reason, many states prohibit traditional surrogacy, and many surrogacy agencies do not provide traditional surrogacy services. Eggceptional Fertility does not provide traditional surrogacy services.