Thanks to the straightforwardness of the surrogacy laws in Maine, it’s relatively easy to become a surrogate or a parent through surrogacy as long as you meet the state’s eligibility requirements and follow the legal processes. But you’ll need an experienced professional to guide you through the ME surrogacy laws, just like any surrogacy laws in the United States.
If you have any questions about surrogacy law in ME, or if you’re struggling with any legal issues with surrogacy, you should contact a surrogacy attorney now. While the information below will help you gain a better understanding of the rules and regulations of surrogacy in Maine, it’s not meant to be taken as legal advice.
The following are some of the most common questions about Maine surrogacy laws. Their answers may help you in your own surrogacy journey.
“Is Surrogacy Legal in Maine?”
Yes. The Maine Parentage Act of 2016 legalized surrogacy in Maine and created important regulations and eligibility requirements for the process. This Maine surrogacy legislation has made things safer, more efficient and more ethical for intended parents, surrogates and for children.
“Is Traditional Surrogacy Legal in Maine?”
Yes. But with caveats. A traditional surrogate must be a family member of an intended parent with whom she is entering into a surrogacy contract. Traditional surrogacy laws in Maine require a post-birth adoption process because traditional surrogates are the biological mothers of the babies they carry, so the process is subject to the state’s adoption laws. A traditional surrogate in Maine must choose to give her consent to an adoption after the baby is born.
This process does not apply to gestational surrogacy. The gestational surrogacy laws in Maine are much simpler, and because of the decreased legal and emotional risks of gestational surrogacy, it’s the preferred method for intended parents and surrogates.
“Is Compensated Surrogacy Legal in Maine?”
Yes. According to Maine surrogacy laws, “a gestational carrier agreement may provide for payment of reasonable expenses.” Compensation for a surrogate’s time, effort, travel expenses, risks assumed and lost wages are negotiated and established when you create your surrogacy contract together with the guidance of your individual surrogacy attorneys.
“Is Same-Sex Surrogacy Legal in Maine?”
Yes. The legal rights of same-sex couples and LGBT+ couples are the same as opposite-sex couples under ME surrogacy laws. The only notable difference for same-sex couples is that you’ll likely require an egg or sperm donor to complete the IVF process. Learn more about LGBT surrogacy in Maine here.
Creating a ME Surrogacy Contract
By state law, the intended parents, the gestational surrogate and the surrogate’s spouse (if applicable) will need to create a Maine surrogacy legal contract with the help of separate legal representation before they begin any medical processes.
Your surrogacy contract will discuss a number of important points, like compensation for the surrogate, the risks and responsibilities that everyone agrees to, what everyone would want to do in the event of complications and more. In addition to the details discussed together with your surrogacy partner and your attorneys, the Maine Parentage Act states that, when all eligible parties have signed the contract, you’re all agreeing that:
- “The prospective gestational carrier agrees to pregnancy by means of assisted reproduction”
- “The prospective gestational carrier and her spouse, if she is married, have no rights and duties as the parents of a child conceived through assisted reproduction”
- “The intended parent or parents will be the parents of any resulting child”
When the contract is finalized according to the surrogacy laws in Maine, you’ll be able to move on to the medical stages of the surrogacy process.
Determining Legal Parentage in Maine
Again, thanks to the straightforward laws on surrogacy in Maine, establishing the legal parental rights of the intended parents is relatively easy in this state. This usually happens in the form of pre-birth parentage orders, but in a few situations, may involve post-birth measures like adoptions.
In almost all gestational surrogacy situations, the intended parents will be able to secure a pre-birth parentage order as long as all the Maine surrogacy laws have been met. This includes single parents, married and unmarried couples and does not exclude individuals with non-binary genders. Your ability to obtain a pre-birth order is not changed by a genetic relationship (or lack thereof) to the baby.
ME surrogacy laws state that “every child has the same rights under law as any other child without regard to the marital status or gender of the parents.”
Legal situations and processes can vary on a case-by-case basis, so contact a surrogacy professional now to find out what surrogacy laws in Maine may affect your surrogacy process.