Surrogacy By State

Alabama Surrogacy Process

Key Points:
  • There are typically 6 steps you’ll need to take to complete the surrogacy process in Alabama.
  • You can choose from two different types of surrogacy.
  • Working with the right surrogacy professional can have an effect on your overall experience.

Important Information About the Alabama IVF Ruling

Update: Alabama Legislation to Pass New Bills Protecting In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

On February 29, both chambers of the Alabama legislation passed bills designed to protect IVF.

The House and Senate will still need to vote on a unified version before handing it to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey.

These bills are designed to:

  • Create specific protections that shield patients, doctors and other professionals from prosecution and civil suits in the state.
  • SB 159 provides civil and criminal immunity for death or damage to an embryo to any individual or entity when providing or receiving goods or services related to in vitro fertilization.
  • HB 237 is a companion bill passed by the state house declaring no action, suit or criminal prosecution for the damage to or death of an embryo shall be brought or maintained against an individual or entity.
  • Legislators admit the proposals need further clarification but are designed to be a quick fix to allow the several closed IVF clinics in the state to reopen.

The Alabama Supreme Court Decision

On February 16, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that embryos created through IVF are considered children.

This comes after 3 couples filed lawsuits against a fertility clinic located inside a hospital after a patient of the hospital entered the fertility clinic’s cryo-preservation unit and opened one of the tanks in December 2020. Because embryos are stored at sub-freezing temperatures, the patient burned himself and dropped the embryos, which hit the ground and were destroyed.

The plaintiff couples brought lawsuits against the fertility clinic and hospital, with the main focus being a violation of the Alabama statute of Wrongful Death of a Minor Act.

At the trial level, a judge ruled that embryos that exist in vitro are not people or children, and this specific case was dismissed. The plaintiff couples appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court, which overturned the judge’s ruling, saying embryos are to be considered children.

Fertility Clinics Pausing Treatments

As a result of the ruling, several fertility clinics have paused IVF treatments due to concerns over far-ranging impacts on healthcare and reproductive technology.

The largest fertility clinic at the University of Alabama in Birmingham is one of the first to pause treatments. Currently, couples receiving treatment have been forced to pause, as well. The Supreme Court says state legislators are best suited to decide the future of IVF treatments in Alabama.

Speak with a specialist today

In the meantime, the following guide will help you to better understand what you’ll need to do in order to complete the Alabama surrogacy process with these six steps and how to begin your surrogacy journey as soon as you are ready.

Step 1: Commit to Surrogacy

Surrogacy simply isn’t right for everyone. While surrogacy in Alabama is a wonderful experience for many people, both prospective parents and surrogates need to consider the legal, emotional and practical processes of surrogacy in AL before committing themselves to the approximately year-long journey.

Surrogates need to be certain that they’re prepared to make significant sacrifices of their time, body, career and family, and that they’re prepared for the emotions they may experience. Intended parents need to be certain that they’re prepared for how the Alabama surrogacy process may affect them and their family — mentally, emotionally and financially — and compare this to all other available family-building possibilities.

Intended parents and surrogates will also need to meet the requirements of their surrogacy professional in order to be eligible for this path, even though Alabama doesn’t have any legally state-mandated surrogacy requirements, as some other states do.

It’s also important that you’re clear on your motivations for choosing surrogacy in Alabama. The process of surrogacy in Alabama is a demanding one, so it’s important that you know you’re choosing it for the right reasons and that you’re as prepared as possible before you begin.

Step 2:  Select the Type of Surrogacy and Professional

If you’ve decided that you’re ready to commit yourself to the Alabama surrogacy process, it’s time to choose the type of surrogacy you want to pursue:

  • Traditional surrogacy: This type of AL surrogacy is uncommon, because traditional surrogates are the biological mothers of the children they carry. Traditional surrogacy in Alabama is not illegal, but very few surrogacy professionals will complete this type of surrogacy due to the legal and emotional risks associated with it. Courts in Alabama may not grant a parentage order in the rare instances of traditional surrogacy, so additional legal measures would likely be required.
  • Gestational surrogacy: This is the preferred type of surrogacy in Alabama by surrogacy professionals, parents and surrogates, because gestational surrogates (or gestational carriers) are not genetically related to the baby. Instead, an embryo is created through IVF using egg and sperm from donors or intended parents, and is then transferred to the surrogate’s uterus in a fertility clinic.

If you decide to pursue gestational surrogacy in Alabama, you’ll next need to choose your surrogacy professional. You should always work with a surrogacy professional to complete your Alabama surrogacy process for everyone’s safety, including the baby’s. There are two primary options for professionals:

  • A surrogacy agency or program: These types of professionals complete most (if not all) of the services that intended parents and surrogates need to complete the surrogacy process in Alabama. This includes searching, screening, matching, counseling, case management and any referrals you might need to legal and medical professionals.
  • A surrogacy attorney: This professional handles the legal steps of the Alabama surrogacy process. Although they can’t always help with matching surrogates and intended parents, they may be able to refer you to a professional who can provide you with additional services, or give you suggestions about searching on your own more safely.

Step 3: Find Your Surrogacy Partner

You can match with a surrogacy partner who lives anywhere — they don’t need to strictly live in Alabama or in your immediate area. What matters most is that you share the same surrogacy goals and that you have a connection. Long-distance surrogacy matches are actually more common.

There are several ways you can find a partner for your Alabama surrogacy journey:

  • Partner with someone you know: Many people turn to surrogacy in Alabama because they already know someone who wants to be their surrogacy partner, either as a surrogate or as an intended parent. Because you’re already matched in this situation, all you’ll need to do is contact an Alabama surrogacy professional to begin the screening and legal processes before you take any medical actions.
  • Match through a surrogacy agency or program: If you don’t have a partner in mind, a surrogacy agency can help you find the ideal match through profiles of pre-screened people you could choose from. The profiles they’ll show you are of people who are already signed on with the agency and who have surrogacy goals that are similar to your own.
  • Search by yourself: Independently searching for an intended parent or surrogate in Alabama should always be done with caution, because you won’t have the protection of professionals to screen potential matches and mediate your contact with them. You would be responsible for vetting potential matches, and failing to do so could put you at risk for scams. Independent searches are usually done online or through personal connections.


The best surrogacy agencies in Alabama can find you a highly qualified surrogacy partner within an average of 30-90 days.

Step 4: Complete the Legal Steps for Surrogacy in Alabama

If you’ve found your surrogacy partner, you can proceed to the legal process of surrogacy in Alabama together. This must be completed before you begin the medical process.

The most important legal stage of the Alabama surrogacy process is probably the creation of your surrogacy contract. Each surrogacy partner will need their own attorney. Your contract will discuss important points and act as a roadmap for your journey, covering issues like establishing parental rights for the intended parents, surrogate compensation, the risks and roles that everyone agrees to take on, expectations for the process, what would happen in the event of things like pregnancy complications and more.

When the intended parent(s), the surrogate and her spouse (if applicable) have signed the contract, you can move on to the next steps of the Alabama surrogacy process.

Step 5: Complete the Medical Steps of Surrogacy in AL

Surrogates in AL must meet the health requirements of their surrogacy professional, which can vary slightly, but will generally be similar. Contact your surrogacy professional to make sure you meet the health requirements and that you’re healthy enough to undergo the surrogacy process in Alabama.

If a surrogate has been cleared for the physically demanding journey of surrogacy after a series of health tests and screenings, she’ll need to take fertility injections and a regimen of medications leading up to an embryo transfer. Embryo transfers are usually scheduled in the intended parents’ fertility clinic, and multiple cycles may be necessary for successful implantation. When a doctor has confirmed a stable and healthy pregnancy, surrogates can see their preferred OB-GYN for regular prenatal care.

Throughout the remainder of the pregnancy, surrogates and intended parents often like to stay in touch, updating each other about their side of the surrogacy journey and sharing their excitement.

Step 6: Celebrate Your Baby’s Arrival

Intended parents will make arrangements to be with their surrogate as soon as she goes into labor. Experiencing a birth through surrogacy in Alabama is incredibly special, and it’s something that everyone involved often like to share together whenever possible.

Interested in learning more about how to become a parent through surrogacy in Alabama? Want to learn how to become a surrogate in Alabama and help people to become parents? Contact an AL surrogacy professional now for more information on the Alabama surrogacy process.

Male and Female couple smiling with surrogate mother
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