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What are your parental rights when you use surrogacy?

On Behalf of | Nov 19, 2021 | Surrogacy Law |

One of the most exciting and rewarding things that can happen to California residents is becoming a parent. However, some people have fertility issues that may require them to seek help. If options like in-vitro fertilization aren’t viable, they might want to consider surrogacy instead. It’s important to understand how this works and how it affects parental rights.

What is surrogacy?

Surrogacy is the process of having another woman carry a baby for another woman or couple. Women who are unable to carry a pregnancy on their own and LGBTQ couples often rely on the service in order to have their own children. It can be done using the woman’s own egg and her partner’s sperm or donor sperm or a donor egg and donor sperm. Once an embryo is created with the help of a fertility clinic, it is then transferred via in-vitro fertilization or IVF into a surrogate to carry the pregnancy to term.

What are the surrogacy laws in California?

California surrogacy laws were established by the state’s Supreme Court thanks to two cases in 1993 and 1998, respectively. Gestational surrogacy was established as official law in 2013, allowing many couples to start families when they otherwise wouldn’t be able to have their own biological children.

Surrogacy laws in California allow the parents to have full rights regardless of whether or not they are married. However, the court allows parents who are not biological parents to enjoy full parental rights as well. Before the birth of the child, the court will issue pre-birth orders so parents can establish themselves in relation to the child.

As a result of surrogacy laws recognizing the parents as the parents of a baby born while using a surrogate, there is no need to go through a lengthy adoption process. Surrogates don’t have legal rights to the child, nor do egg or sperm donors.

For many couples, surrogacy may be the best or even only option to start a family.