In Which State should you Hire a Surrogacy Attorney?

Kim Surratt Which state should you hire a surrogacy attorney

When your surrogacy journey crosses state lines, how does an intended parent know which state to hire a surrogacy attorney from? Do they hire an attorney in the state where they reside, where their surrogate resides, where the IVF transfer occurs, or where the birth occurs? In which state to hire a surrogacy attorney depends on several factors.


Choosing the Jurisdiction for Surrogacy Attorneys

Surrogacy laws vary by state, so it’s essential to understand the legal landscape in the state where you intend to have your surrogate carry your child.


Types of Surrogacy

Firstly, it’s essential to understand that surrogacy can take different forms: traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate uses her egg to become pregnant. In contrast, in gestational surrogacy, the surrogate is implanted with an embryo created from the intended parents’ or donors’ egg and sperm. In general, gestational surrogacy is the more commonly used form, as it is more legally straightforward. When the surrogate is not biologically related to the child, there are fewer legal issues around parental rights and custody.


Unfriendly Surrogacy States

However, regardless of the type of surrogacy you are pursuing, there are a few states where surrogacy is prohibited or highly regulated. For example, a surrogacy contract in Arizona is unenforceable, but intended parents may still be able to secure their parental rights. In Louisiana, surrogacy contracts are legal, but only for heterosexual couples who are married.


Surrogate Friendly States

Other states, such as California and Nevada, have relatively liberal surrogacy laws, meaning that surrogacy contracts are enforceable and there are clear legal pathways for intended parents to secure parental rights. In addition, both states give jurisdiction based on broad principles, including if the intended parents reside in the state, the carrier lives there, the child will be born there, and the fertility clinic is in the state.


In which state should you hire a surrogacy attorney?

If you are pursuing surrogacy, finding a state where surrogacy is permitted and where there are clear legal guidelines around surrogacy contracts, parental rights, and custody is essential.  An attorney specializing in surrogacy can help you navigate the legal landscape in your state and can assist you in drafting and negotiating a surrogacy contract that protects your interests as intended parents.


International Surrogacy

It’s also important to note that surrogacy is not legal in all countries. So, if you are considering international surrogacy, you must research the laws in the country where you intend to have the surrogate carry your child. You need to know if you will be a parent of your child when you return to your home country and whether your child can gain citizenship in your home country.

In summary, if you are planning to hire an attorney for your surrogacy, the state in which you will need to do so will depend on various factors, including the type of surrogacy you are pursuing, the legal landscape in your state, and any residency requirements that may exist. Working with an attorney specializing in surrogacy can help you navigate these complexities and ensure your surrogacy journey is legally sound and protected.


About the Author

Kimberly (Kim) Surratt is an experienced surrogacy and assisted reproduction law attorney. She has 20 years of experience in surrogacy, wrote and lobbied for every single surrogacy statute in the State of Nevada, and trained many other attorneys in Nevada, California, and the United States. She has developed relationships with many fertility clinics, matching programs, and assisted reproduction attorneys around the world. She is licensed in both Nevada and California.  Kim is available for a consultation to help guide you on which state to hire a surrogate attorney.   A top priority for Kim is to help you realize your dream of being a parent.


Contact Kim at:  Surratt Family Law

Phone: (775) 924-1306