It’s one of the first questions that prospective surrogates and intended parents have if they live in the Sunflower State: Is surrogacy legal in Kansas?
The answer to this question is yes — despite the fact that there are no surrogacy laws in Kansas at all. Like many other states across the U.S., Kansas is silent on the legal issues with surrogacy here, leaving the process up to local professionals experienced in this field. With this oversight, Kansas surrogacy professionals have created a safe legal process for both surrogates and intended parents looking to work in this state.
Before you begin your Kansas surrogacy, we encourage you to reach out to a local surrogacy attorney in Kansas for more information. While some basic information on Kansas surrogacy laws is presented below, we make no guarantee that this information is accurate and up-to-date. Surrogacy laws are constantly subject to change, and this article does not serve as legal advice — just a starting point before you contact a professional surrogacy attorney.
The Basics of Kansas Surrogacy Laws
As mentioned above, there are no specific surrogacy laws in Kansas regulating this family-building process. There are no federal laws regarding surrogacy, either. Therefore, this process is regulated by local legal and judicial professionals, including attorneys and judges — as well as surrogacy professionals like agencies and matching programs.
Despite the lack of surrogacy legislation in Kansas, surrogates and intended parents can safely and legally reach their surrogacy dreams in this state. Local judges and courts are often favorable toward the surrogacy process (with a few specific requirements). When a local surrogacy attorney guides you from start to finish, your rights and the rights of your surrogacy partner will be protected. You will also fully understand all the applicable gestational surrogacy laws and traditional surrogacy laws from the very start of your journey.
What are the Legal Issues with Surrogacy in Kansas?
Surrogacy is a huge commitment, which is why it’s important for both intended parents and prospective surrogates to fully understand the surrogacy laws in Kansas before starting. While it is a fairly surrogacy-friendly state, Kansas does have specific requirements and regulations (established by local professionals) that may not be universal to other states.
Before you decide to pursue surrogacy in Kansas, here are some things to consider:
If You are an Intended Parent:
- Pre-birth orders are generally only available to intended parents using their own egg and/or sperm. During your surrogacy journey, you will need to take legal steps to protect your parental rights. Because you are not the one giving birth to your child, you will not receive automatic parental rights at the hospital. Assisted reproductive technology and surrogacy laws in Kansas generally only allow intended parents with a genetic connection to their child to obtain a pre-birth order. However, the availability of pre-birth orders will always vary due to the court and judge reviewing the legal request.
- Intended parents with no genetic connection to their child must typically complete an adoption after birth. If you do not have a genetic connection to your child, a pre-birth order will not be likely in a Kansas surrogacy. Intended parents who have used a donor sperm or egg cell for one partner can often obtain a pre-birth order for the genetically related parent. The non-genetically related parent may need to complete a stepparent adoption after birth (as long as they are married). Intended parents completing a surrogacy in Kansas where neither parent is genetically related to the child will typically complete a full adoption after the child is born — which comes with additional legal regulations.
- Second-parent adoptions are not permitted by Kansas surrogacy laws. What happens when intended parents with no genetic connection to their child born via Kansas surrogacy are not married? The legal implications of surrogacy in this case are complicated. Second-parent adoptions (in which an unmarried spouse can adopt their partner’s child) are not available in Kansas. Intended parents in this situation will need to either get married prior to their child’s birth or complete a second-parent adoption in another state to protect their parental rights.
If You are a Prospective Surrogate:
- There are no Kansas surrogacy laws prohibiting being a traditional surrogate. While some states have prohibited traditional surrogacy due to its legal and emotional complications, Kansas is not one of them. If you want to be a traditional surrogate in Kansas, you have the legal standing to do so — although you should consider the potential complications that come with this path, as well.
- There are no Kansas surrogacy laws prohibiting or regulating surrogate compensation. When you become a surrogate, you have the right to receive base compensation for your services, if you desire. There are no laws on surrogacy in Kansas that prohibit or limit your ability to do so, as long as you are a gestational surrogate (more on the laws regarding traditional surrogacy below). Make sure to work closely with a surrogacy attorney or agency program to receive the proper surrogate compensation for your journey.
- Traditional surrogacy will be considered an adoption under Kansas law. Many women today choose to be gestational surrogates because of the easier legal and emotional process involved but, if you choose to be a traditional surrogate in Kansas, you should know that your path will be a bit more complicated. You may need to “terminate” your parental rights through an adoption consent proceeding, and you may not be able to receive the same kind of compensation a gestational surrogate can. This is because a surrogate’s rights in Kansas are more comparable to a birth mother’s rights in Kansas when she is genetically related to the child she carries — even if a surrogacy contract has been drafted and finalized.
Remember, surrogacy laws in Kansas are always subject to change. Many other states have begun to add to or edit their existing surrogacy legislation and, because Kansas has no existing laws, it is reasonable to assume some will come into existence as surrogacy becomes more popular.
For more information on the current state of surrogacy laws in the United States and in Kansas, please contact a local surrogacy attorney.