Is Surrogacy Legal in Louisiana?

Surrogacy Friendly States and a Shift Towards Surrogacy-Friendly Laws.

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Is Surrogacy Legal in Louisiana?

Louisiana restricts surrogacy to a very limited set of circumstances. The only legal surrogacy arrangements must meet these criteria:

  • The intended parents must be a heterosexual married couple.
  • The intended parents must provide both the egg and sperm for the embryo used in the surrogacy (i.e. no donor egg, sperm, or embryos)
  • The gestational carrier (surrogate) may not receive compensation other than covering medical and related expenses (only “altruistic” arrangements are allowed)
  • The agreement must be approved by a Louisiana court before the embryo transfer.
  • Married Couple Friendly
  • Pre-Birth Order, Post-Birth Order, or Post-Adoption Order

If the intended parents meet these criteria, they may receive a pre-birth parental order from the Louisiana court system. In all other circumstances, no pre-birth orders will be given. Instead, the child is considered the legal child of the woman who carries the pregnancy (and her spouse, if applicable).

These restrictions remove surrogacy as an option for many couples and individuals for whom surrogacy is the only path to biological parenthood.

Is surrogacy legal in Louisiana

How to Find a Surrogate in Louisiana?

It is extremely difficult to create and enforce a surrogate agreement in Louisiana. The state has very strict laws that restrict surrogacy to an extremely limited set of conditions. Perhaps even more significantly, surrogacy arrangements that do not meet those criteria are not only unenforceable: they may even lead to prosecution and criminal charges for participants. For this reason, we do not recommend that intended parents pursue surrogacy in Louisiana. We also do not accept applications from surrogate candidates who live in Louisiana.

Why Do People Use Surrogates?

In surrogacy-friendly states, people choose to become parents through surrogacy for many different reasons. At the core, intended parents using surrogacy are unable to carry and deliver a baby on their own. This could be because of a health reason. For instance, a woman might have healthy eggs, but not be able to carry a pregnancy for medical reasons. In this case, she could have her eggs retrieved, fertilized with her partner’s sperm, and then transferred to a surrogate who can safely carry and deliver a baby. In this way, both intended parents can still have a biological child. On the other hand, surrogacy also provides a path to fatherhood for single intended fathers and same-sex male couples, who can fertilize donor eggs with their sperm and transfer the resulting embryo to a surrogate.

In Louisiana, any intended parent who would need to use a donor egg, sperm, or embryo as part of their surrogacy cannot pursue a surrogacy arrangement. Some unmarried or LGBTQ+ intended parents attempt to work with a surrogate in Louisiana and then adopt the resulting child. In Louisiana, adoptive parents must attend a court hearing after the child’s birth to obtain an adoption order. A couple must be married to jointly adopt a child. For unmarried couples, only one of the partners can adopt the child and have full legal parental rights.

However, it’s important to note that any surrogate agreements in these cases, involving LGBTQ+, single, or unmarried intended parents, or any agreements that involve surrogate compensation are legally unenforceable in Louisiana and may, in fact, be illegal and open to prosecution.

Given the extra hurdles, restrictions, and potential for legal consequences, we do not advise intended parents to pursue surrogacy in Louisiana. Instead, we work with surrogate candidates in neighboring states, which may be an option for intended parents who live in Louisiana.

How Can Intended Parents in Louisiana Work with a Surrogacy Agency?

We have found the safest and most reliable surrogacy journey for Louisiana intended parents involves working with a surrogate and surrogacy agency based in a more surrogacy-friendly state. Eggceptional Fertility has worked with surrogates in Mississippi, Missouri, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and other states in the Southeast since our start in 2008. We have created an extended community of intended parents, surrogates, and donors to form our Eggceptional family, all brought together by our shared desire to help build family legacies and change lives.

We have worked with Louisiana intended parents to match with surrogates in neighboring states and coordinate care. This does involve some extra logistics, including travel arrangements, insurance coordination, and finding the right fertility clinic in the surrogate’s home state. We absolutely recommend that all Louisiana intended parents interested in surrogacy consult a local surrogacy law expert to prevent any issues with their out-of-state surrogacy being recognized in Louisiana. We can help refer you to an assisted reproductive law specialist near you.

We believe everyone deserves the chance to build a family. We are happy to work with intended parents across the country (and the world!) to find a path to parenthood. If you live in Louisiana and would like to find a surrogate, don’t lose hope. Your journey may involve a few more steps, but we can help you navigate each of them. It all starts with a free consultation: schedule your initial consultation today.