Surrogacy By State

Alabama Surrogacy Laws

While there are many differing state-established surrogacy laws in the United States, there are no surrogacy laws in Alabama. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t safely and successfully choose this path as a hopeful parent or as a potential surrogate.

In order to navigate the lack of AL surrogacy laws, you’ll simply need to work with experienced surrogacy professionals. That way, everyone involved in your surrogacy journey is protected and advocated for.

If you’re struggling with any legal issues with surrogacy, or if you have any questions about surrogacy law in AL, contact a surrogacy attorney. This guide will offer a better understanding of the rules and regulations of surrogacy in Alabama, but it should not be considered legal advice.

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about Alabama surrogacy laws:

“Is Surrogacy Legal in Alabama?”

Yes. There are no Alabama surrogacy laws to restrict the practice, so it’s legal. You’ll need to work with an experienced surrogacy attorney to make sure you and your surrogacy partner’s rights are protected, and your attorneys will walk you through the necessary court processes.

“Is Traditional Surrogacy Legal in Alabama?”

Yes. Again, there are no formal traditional surrogacy laws in Alabama to prohibit the practice, so it’s presumed to be legal. However, there are very few surrogacy professionals that will complete this type of surrogacy because of the increased legal and emotional risks associated with it.

Gestational surrogacy, on the other hand, is the preferred method because of the reduced risk of complications. Similar to traditional surrogacy, there are no gestational surrogacy laws in Alabama, although this type of surrogacy is more commonplace.

“Is Compensated Surrogacy Legal in Alabama?”

Yes. There is no Alabama surrogacy legislation that limits the amount of base compensation a surrogate can receive, so this is something that is established within the surrogacy contract between surrogates and intended parents. Compensation for surrogates often offsets the medical risks they accept, the wages they miss out on at work, surrogacy-related travel expenses, pregnancy- and surrogacy-related costs and more, so the amount can vary based on those expenses.

“Is Same-Sex Surrogacy Legal in Alabama?”

Yes. Although there are no Alabama surrogacy laws established to specifically protect same-sex couples and LGBT+ individuals, the surrogacy process is the same for them as it would be for any intended parent. The legal process is the same for all intended parents in Alabama. The only difference for most same-sex couples is that you’ll need to work with an egg or sperm donor to complete the IVF process, which not all opposite-sex intended parents will need.

Your AL Surrogacy Contract

An Alabama surrogacy legal contract is needed for everyone’s protection, even though there aren’t any Alabama surrogacy laws that dictate how contracts must be executed like there are in some states. Surrogacy contracts are completed under the guidance of surrogacy attorneys (one for the intended parents and one for the surrogate). If the surrogate is married, her spouse must usually participate, to legally confirm that he’s not the parent of the children the surrogate carries for the intended parents.

Surrogacy contracts discuss important points like the risks that everyone agrees to, compensation for the surrogate, what would happen in the event of pregnancy complications, the responsibilities that everyone agrees to and more. Only once the contract is finalized can surrogacy partners move on to the medical stage of the process.

How to Establish Legal Parentage in Alabama

The process of establishing legal parentage in a surrogacy situation varies based on the individual circumstances, but your AL surrogacy attorney will be able to walk you through the processes you need to complete.

Alabama courts usually will not issue a pre-birth parentage order to any unmarried couple. So, in order to confirm the legal parental rights for unmarried intended parents, you’ll need to complete a post-birth adoption. You’d also need an adoption in Alabama as an intended parent if you partner with a surrogate who lives in a state that doesn’t permit pre-birth orders.

To learn more about the laws on surrogacy in Alabama that may affect you as you begin your surrogacy journey, either as a parent or a surrogate, contact a surrogacy professional. Everyone’s legal circumstances will be unique, so consult with a surrogacy professional to find out what AL surrogacy laws will be important for you.

What to Know About the Alabama IVF Ruling and Surrogacy Laws in Alabama

In early 2024, the Alabama Supreme Court made a ruling that threw fertility clinics in the state into turmoil. IVF procedures, in particular, were in jeopardy. In an effort to support anyone in Alabama considering surrogacy or other fertility options, we have created this list of updates following the story:

Update: Alabama Governor Signs IVF Protection Bill

Alabama governor Kay Ivey signed a new bill that is meant to protect IVF patients and providers on March 7, 2024. While some issues are the heart of the Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling are not addressed in the new law, the hope is that it will allow clinics to resume IVF procedures as soon as this month.

If you are considering IVF in Alabama as a surrogate or intended parent, you should speak with your clinic, your attorney and your surrogacy agency before deciding on a plan.

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

Male and Female couple smiling with surrogate mother
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