Whether you are an intended parent or a prospective surrogate, it’s vital to have a solid grasp of surrogacy laws. In particular, you may be wondering how licensing works when it comes to surrogacy agencies.
To get more information about how to find legitimate surrogacy agencies, get in touch with a surrogacy professional today.
Did you know that surrogacy agencies aren’t regulated the way adoption professionals are? So, “agency” can be a bit of a misleading term. That’s why many professionals call themselves surrogacy “programs” or “centers.”
Despite the lack of regulations on surrogacy agencies, most states have laws that regulate the surrogacy process within that respective state. As a result, surrogacy agencies still have to abide by each state’s laws.
We have put together this detailed guide that explains everything you need to know about surrogate agency licensing and regulation. Still, keep in mind that we are not attorneys and nothing in this article should be taken as legal advice.
Surrogacy Agency License and Law [What You Need to Know]
Surrogacy is a rapidly expanding practice, which means that laws and regulations can be difficult to keep up with. This also means that, whether you are a gestational carrier or an intended parent, you should be extra careful when looking for a reputable surrogacy agency. This is because they are not regulated as intensely as adoption agencies.
We should also mention that there may be a difference between your state’s surrogacy laws and how they are actually enforced. This particularly rings true in states where there aren’t clear gestational surrogacy laws, so surrogacy attorneys must be creative in the ways they protect their clients in surrogacy contracts. Different judges will also treat these laws differently, so it’s crucial to speak with a local surrogacy attorney who understands these laws inside and out.
These regulations also depend on what type of surrogacy you want to pursue. Surrogacy laws can vary, which complicates an already complicated subject. To help you find legitimate surrogate agencies, we’ll go over how these regulations can differ:
Commercial Surrogacy Regulations
Although commercial surrogacy is a common choice, this can be a complex legal topic in some states because of laws regulating surrogate compensation rates. In some states, commercial surrogacy is illegal, and others limit how much money prospective surrogates can receive. Be sure to work with a reputable surrogacy agency and research local surrogacy laws to ensure that you aren’t crossing any legal boundaries in your surrogacy experience.
Traditional Surrogacy Regulations
Between gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy, the former is much more popular. But, traditional surrogacy is still an option for you. This is when the surrogate has a biological connection with the child because the surrogate uses their own egg for the embryo. But, traditional surrogacy contracts are unenforceable in many states, so check with a reputable surrogacy agency and attorney before moving forward.
Surrogacy Contract Regulations
Another tricky area within surrogacy regulations is the contract. This is otherwise known as your surrogacy agreement. We should mention, though, that some states don’t allow the legal enforcement of surrogacy contracts. Because of this, it can be risky to pursue surrogacy in those states. Without legal enforcement, it can be more difficult for intended parents to establish parental rights or for prospective surrogates to receive compensation.
On top of these challenges, you may have trouble finding a surrogacy attorney who will help you complete your surrogacy contract. Make sure that surrogacy is legal in your state before pursuing this path. Completing a surrogacy contract in a state where surrogacy is illegal could result in significant legal challenges. In other words, it’s crucial to work with legitimate surrogate agencies.
Parental Rights Regulations
One of the most complex steps in any surrogacy is establishing parental rights. Many state laws assume that the person who gave birth to the baby is also their parent, but that is not the case in gestational surrogacy. As a result, intended parents will need to complete some extra steps, such as parentage orders, to protect and establish their parental rights in surrogacy.
Exactly how intended parents’ rights are established depends on state laws. Intended parents may be able to complete these parentage orders before birth, but some are active only after delivery. In some instances, intended parents will need to complete parentage orders through an adoption process or other post-birth operations. If it’s the former, then this would technically be a stepparent adoption. Your state’s surrogacy laws will also affect whether intended parents can place their names on the birth certificate right away or not. Make sure that you’re working with a reputable surrogacy agency and with professionals who understand these laws and regulations.
While you research gestational surrogacy regulations in the United States, keep in mind that these laws will change according to the state where the surrogate gives birth. When you work with legitimate surrogate agencies as an intended parent, your professional will educate you about the state laws where the surrogate is delivering the baby.
Where Is Surrogacy Legal? [Surrogacy Agency License and Law in Your State]
As a prospective surrogate or intended parent, you may be wondering where surrogacy is available to you. In most states, surrogacy regulations are favorable, but they vary from state to state. For the most part, though, states that protect surrogacy also allow for pre-birth parentage orders and surrogacy contracts through a reputable surrogacy agency.
But, as you research surrogacy, you may find that some states’ regulations are unfavorable. For example, some states may have limitations on compensated surrogacy, meaning that the only option available to prospective surrogates in such a state is altruistic surrogacy. Or, this could mean that intended parents can’t be listed on the birth certificate. If you’re trying to pursue surrogacy in one of these states, then be sure to work with a trustworthy surrogacy attorney to ensure that everything is handled in a fair, legal and ethical fashion.
This can be a lot to wrap your head around in one sitting, so we understand if you have some more questions. If you want get more information about legitimate surrogate agencies and licensing, then speak with a surrogacy professional today.