Whether you’re a hopeful parent or a potential surrogate, you probably have some questions about Hawaii surrogacy laws and the possible rules and regulations of surrogacy you might encounter. While each state does establish its own laws regarding surrogacy, in Hawaii, there isn’t currently any legislation addressing surrogacy laws. Hawaii may not have established laws, but that doesn’t mean surrogacy isn’t permitted or safely practiced on the islands.
However, you’ll still need to work with experienced professionals to prevent legal issues with surrogacy. While the following guide will help you answer some of your questions about surrogacy, Hawaii law questions and concerns should be discussed with your surrogacy attorney.
The following are some of the most commonly asked questions about surrogacy laws in Hawaii, with answers as to how the lack of concrete surrogacy laws may (or may not) affect you:
“Is Surrogacy Legal in Hawaii?”
Yes. Although there is no specific surrogacy law in Hawaii, courts are generally favorable toward intended parents pursuing surrogacy in the islands, so it’s considered permitted and legal.
However, you’ll need to work with a surrogacy attorney to navigate any relevant laws in your situation and to make sure everyone is protected, regardless of the lack of surrogate laws in Hawaii.
“Is Traditional Surrogacy Legal in Hawaii?”
Yes. Again, there are no specific traditional surrogacy laws in Hawaii to prohibit the practice, so it’s permitted. However, because traditional surrogates are the biological mothers of the children they carry, courts may rule in favor of the surrogate’s parental rights. This type of surrogacy involves increased legal and emotional risks, so almost no professionals will complete a traditional surrogacy, even in states where it is allowed.
While there are also no gestational surrogacy laws in Hawaii, it’s still the preferred, and more common, surrogacy method. Gestational surrogates are not biologically related to the babies they carry for the intended parents, making the legal process easier and more straightforward.
“Is Compensated Surrogacy Legal in Hawaii?”
Yes. There aren’t any HI surrogacy laws that regulate base compensation for surrogates, but there are no laws on surrogacy in Hawaii that prohibit the practice, either. So, it’s commonplace and permitted for surrogate-intended-parent partnerships to establish compensation rates within surrogacy contracts.
Compensation for surrogates often covers things like surrogacy-related travel expenses, all medical costs, any lost wages while attending surrogacy-related appointments, maternity clothes and other pregnancy- or surrogacy-related costs. The amount of compensation is agreed upon with the attorneys’ input to make sure every party is being treated fairly and equally, and the compensation is often distributed through an escrow account with regular stipends to help out with miscellaneous pregnancy-related expenses that might come up for the surrogate.
“Is Same-Sex Surrogacy Legal in Hawaii?”
Yes. Same-sex couples will have a similar surrogacy experience as opposite-sex intended parents. However, it’s always best to work with an attorney who has experience helping same-sex intended parents in Hawaii, as they’ll be more familiar with any additional legal steps that your individual circumstances may require. There are plenty of surrogates who are willing and excited to carry for LGBT+ intended parents, so no need to worry about finding a match.
Creating an HI Surrogacy Contract
In establishing a Hawaii surrogacy legal contract, you’ll need the participation of the intended parent(s), the gestational surrogate and her spouse (if she’s married). You’ll also need separate representation for the two parties from experienced surrogacy attorneys to prevent any conflict of interests during the legal process.
Your contract will serve as an important roadmap and will also give you an opportunity to discuss details like compensation, the expectations for each party, the risks and responsibilities that everyone agrees to, what would happen in the event of unforeseen circumstances and more.
When your contract has been finalized in accordance with any relevant laws, you’ll be able to move on to the medical stage.
Determining Legal Parentage in Hawaii
Your surrogacy attorney will also be responsible for guiding you through any relevant laws on surrogacy when it comes time to establish the legal parental rights of the intended parents. Each situation is unique, and genetic relationships to the baby will affect whether pre- or post-birth parentage orders may be required for you.
Remember that you’ll need a surrogacy attorney from the very beginning — you’ll need legal advice tailored to your situation even before you start to ensure that you’re protected should something happen, and the do-it-yourself “legal” surrogacy forms printed from online won’t cut it. A court wouldn’t honor those. Having an experienced surrogacy attorney isn’t an optional part of your journey.
To learn more about how the lack of Hawaii surrogacy laws may or may not affect your surrogacy journey, contact a surrogacy professional. Everyone’s individual circumstances are unique, so you’ll need an attorney’s expert opinion on how surrogacy laws in Hawaii may influence your upcoming journey.