California parents exploring surrogacy enjoy many rights and opportunities that national laws pertaining to surrogacy and fertility deny in other places. For example, in the Golden State, the law protects you with pre-birth orders and birth certificate notations. What does it look like in other places?
Arizona and Indiana fail to protect would-be parents
Although commercial surrogacy is an accepted practice, the law may not protect your interests. Even though the courts will issue you a parentage order, the surrogacy contract itself is void. Local statues make it unenforceable.
Louisiana, Michigan, and Nebraska forbid surrogacy
The sticking point in these states is a surrogacy agreement that involves money. Therefore, you may find that the court will treat an attempt at commercial surrogacy as a crime. Another hurdle could be the refusal to put the parents’ names on the birth certificate. It is interesting to note that New York recently legalized compensated surrogacy, but there are still statutes to undo and roadblocks to remove.
Take advantage of “friendly” states
If you plan to have a child through a surrogate, you do not have to allow national laws pertaining to surrogacy and fertility to prevent you from doing so. For example, if you live in a state where commercial surrogacy is not easily possible, you might choose to work with a surrogate from a “friendly” state. However, because there is distance to consider, it is crucial that you understand the nuances of the law ahead of time.
For the would-be parent who recognizes surrogacy as the way to start a family, it is a good idea to consult with a law firm that can give the guidance necessary to protect you, the child, and the surrogate.