Illinois Surrogacy Laws

Is Surrogacy Legal in IL? What You Need to Know

The legal surrogacy process in Illinois can seem complicated. Will these surrogacy laws in Illinois affect your dreams of becoming parents or a surrogate in IL?

Surrogacy laws in Illinois are compiled in the Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act. Illinois is a famously surrogacy-friendly state, and the carefully detailed laws within the Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act make it one of the easiest states in which to become a surrogate or a parent via surrogacy.

However, despite the relative ease of pursuing surrogacy in Illinois compared to most of the surrogacy laws in the United States, you’ll still need to work with experienced surrogacy professionals to complete your process in accordance with Illinois surrogacy laws and to help you navigate the Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act.

Contact a surrogacy attorney if you have any questions about surrogacy law in IL or if you have any legal issues with surrogacy. The information below is not meant to be used as legal advice — it’s a basic overview of how some of the IL surrogacy laws might affect you.

“Is Surrogacy Legal in Illinois?”

Despite the media’s arguments about “should surrogacy be legal” or “illegal surrogacy,” and the many rumored rules and regulations of surrogacy in Illinois, surrogacy is actually a common way for families to grow in Illinois and throughout the U.S.

Perhaps you’ve worried about the legality of surrogacy in Illinois after hearing sensationalist news. But not only is surrogacy legal in Illinois, it’s a well-protected and legally regulated family-building method. It’s also an amazing way for people to come together to create families!

“Is Traditional Surrogacy Legal in Illinois?”

The Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act does not include traditional surrogacy within Illinois surrogacy laws. However, this lack of traditional surrogacy laws in Illinois does not mean that it’s not legally enforceable. There is simply a much greater legal and emotional risk associated with this less-common method of surrogacy, so traditional surrogacy in IL is often discouraged.

On the other hand, the gestational surrogacy laws in Illinois are very clear and welcoming for both gestational surrogates and intended parents. This type of surrogacy is legal and commonplace in Illinois.

“Is Compensated Surrogacy Legal in Illinois?”

Commercial surrogacy is legal in Illinois and clearly defined within Illinois surrogacy laws. Compensation for surrogates repays the surrogate for her time, lost wages, travel expenses, the medical risks she accepts and more. Surrogacy compensation does not mean that intended parents are paying their gestational carrier for a baby, and this is an important legal and ethical distinction that must be reflected within the surrogacy contracts.

“Is Same-Sex Surrogacy Legal in Illinois?”

The legalization of same-sex marriage by the United States Supreme Court also ensured the right for same-sex couples to pursue family-building options like surrogacy and adoption just like an opposite-sex couple. The surrogacy process is the same for same-sex couples and opposite-sex individuals, with the exception of potentially needing to work with an egg or sperm donor to complete the in vitro fertilization process. Learn more about LGBT surrogacy in Illinois here.

Creating a Surrogacy Contract

An Illinois surrogacy legal contract between intended parents and a gestational surrogate (and her spouse, if applicable) is protected under the Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act. Surrogacy contracts must be established with your individual attorneys after you’ve been matched, but prior to beginning the medical process.

Your contracts will discuss potential “what-if” situations like additional IVF cycles or a surrogate becoming pregnant with multiples, and how everyone involved would want to handle these situations together. The contracts will also outline surrogacy compensation, legal parental rights, social roles throughout the process and more.

Once everyone has agreed on the finalized contents of the contracts, you can proceed to the medical stage of surrogacy.

Determining Legal Parentage in Illinois

Unlike most states, parentage orders are not needed in the state of Illinois to establish the intended parents as the legal parents of a child born via gestational surrogacy. Concrete Illinois surrogacy legislation like the Gestational Surrogacy Act ensures the legal parental rights of intended parents in most situations, although you can obtain a parentage order if your individual circumstances deem it legally necessary. This makes the Illinois surrogacy legal process even simpler for most families.

However, if a child is not genetically related to either intended parent (for example, if you’re using a donated embryo and a gestational surrogate), then the intended parent(s) will need to complete an adoption after birth in order to establish their legal parental rights.

The laws on surrogacy in Illinois have made the legal process of surrogacy relatively simple for both surrogates and hopeful parents. However, you’ll still need an experienced professional to guide you through the Illinois surrogacy laws that are necessary to your surrogacy process — contact an Illinois surrogacy professional now to learn more.