Hopeful parents as well as women who are considering becoming surrogates often have many questions about the surrogacy laws in Oregon. However, the only statutes regarding surrogacy in Oregon outline who is (and is not) legally responsible for a child resulting from assisted reproduction. For example, these statutes state that donors are not responsible for any children born from embryos created using their egg or sperm.
While these statutes cover the legal implications of children resulting from assisted reproduction, there are no laws specifically governing the operation of surrogacy in Oregon. Although there are no surrogacy laws in Oregon, it is legal to expand your family through surrogacy or to be a surrogate for someone else.
If you have any legal issues with surrogacy in Oregon, or questions about surrogacy law in OR, you should get in contact with a surrogacy attorney. While the information below is a helpful overview, it’s not a substitute for professional legal advice.
The following are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding OR surrogacy laws. The answers to these questions may help you gain a better understanding of surrogacy law in OR and how it may affect you:
“Is Surrogacy Legal in Oregon?”
Yes. Although you may have heard hyped-up discussions of “illegal surrogacy” in Oregon or debates about whether surrogacy should be legal, in addition to the rumored rules and regulations of surrogacy in Oregon that many people fear will prevent them from pursuing surrogacy, this is actually a common family-building method in Oregon and throughout the U.S.
Despite the lack of surrogacy laws in OR, the legality of surrogacy in Oregon is not in question. It’s an increasingly common way for families in Oregon to grow.
“Is Traditional Surrogacy Legal in Oregon?”
Yes. Again, there are no traditional surrogacy laws outlined in Oregon, but it is permitted as there are no laws prohibiting it. However, only the intended parent who is biologically related to the child will be able to receive a pre-birth order with traditional surrogacy in Oregon, so a post-birth adoption would be necessary.
Due to the increased legal and emotional risks associated with traditional surrogacy, many surrogacy professionals in Oregon will not complete this type of surrogacy. All surrogacy professionals, however, welcome gestational surrogacy. There are also no gestational surrogacy laws in Oregon, but there are fewer risks with this type of surrogacy, so it’s more commonly practiced.
“Is Compensated Surrogacy Legal in Oregon?”
Yes. There are no OR surrogacy laws prohibiting commercial surrogacy, so it is permitted. A surrogate can be compensated for the wages she loses during the surrogacy process, the time she invests, travel expenses she incurs, the medical risks she accepts and more. Intended parents do not pay their gestational carrier for a baby. This is an important difference, legally and ethically.
“Is Same-Sex Surrogacy Legal in Oregon?”
Yes. Opposite-sex couples, same-sex couples and LGBT+ individuals will generally have the same surrogacy experience, with a couple minor differences. Notably, all same-sex couples will need to work with an egg or sperm donor to complete the in vitro fertilization process. Any potential differences in the legal process, like a post-birth adoption when only one intended parent is genetically related to the child, are on a case-by-case basis. Your surrogacy attorney will help protect the legal rights of your family and can help you learn more about LGBT surrogacy in Oregon, as well as what’s necessary in your individual situation.
Your OR Surrogacy Contract
A finalized Oregon surrogacy legal contract is needed before you and your surrogacy partner can proceed to the medical steps of surrogacy in OR. This will require a surrogacy attorney for the intended parent(s) and another, separate surrogacy attorney for the gestational surrogate (and her spouse, if applicable) to ensure that the two parties are equally advocated for during the legal process.
Your surrogacy contract will cover a range of important topics, like surrogate compensation; the risks, roles and responsibilities that each party agrees to; your expectations regarding contact during the process; how you would want to proceed in the event of situations like the surrogate becoming pregnant with multiples and other issues.
Once you’ve all confirmed the finalized version of your contract, you can proceed to the medical processes together.
How to Establish Legal Parentage in Oregon
Oregon surrogacy legislation does not clearly dictate when pre-birth parentage orders will or won’t be granted, so it’s usually up to a judge. Typically, a pre-birth order is accepted when at least one intended parent is genetically related to the child. In other situations, a post-birth adoption may be needed to establish legal parental rights for intended parent(s) in Oregon.
Although there are no formal laws on surrogacy in Oregon, this does not mean that it’s not a safe or regulated option for families and surrogates. With the guidance of an experienced Oregon surrogacy professional, you can become a parent through surrogacy or help others to have a family by becoming a surrogate yourself.