What are the legal considerations surrounding gestational surrogacy?
California is a surrogacy friendly state
California allows commercial surrogacy, as well as regularly reinforces contracts with regard to gestational surrogacy. In addition, the state makes it possible for all intended parents – regardless of their marital status and/or their sexual orientation – to establish legal parental rights prior to the actual birth of their child(ren) and without the need to go through adoption proceedings.
The legal aspects regarding gestational surrogacy are determined by each individual state in the United States of America. California is a surrogacy friendly state. The California state legislature has enacted laws supporting gestational surrogacy. The laws clearly define the intended parents as the sole parents of the child(ren) born through the gestational surrogacy process (embryo derived from the egg of someone other than the surrogate). The laws also provide parameters which must be followed. The legality of gestational surrogacy with the intended parents being the sole parents of child(ren) born through gestational surrogacy was upheld by the Supreme Court of the state of California. The laws passed by the legislature and the precedence set by the courts together clearly make California a surrogacy friendly state.
Laws & Precedence:
Laws and precedence have existed for several decades to define the legal process and ramifications of going through gestational surrogacy. California’s long history of favorable case law make this state an excellent location for surrogacy.
California’s favorable statute recognizes contracts for gestational surrogacy arrangements as well as egg, sperm, and embryo donations. California’s comprehensive law protects the rights of the surrogate, the intended parents, the baby, and the egg donor (if one is needed). The intended parents and the surrogate will not have to appear in court regardless if the intended parents are or are not US citizens. All that is required for all parties involved (surrogates and intended parents) is to simply craft a legal agreement with their respective attorney, review and sign legal documentation and then let the attorneys finalize the agreements.
California makes it possible for all intended parents, single or married, to establish legal parental rights prior to the actual birth of their child(ren).
Regardless of sexual orientation, California law permits gay, lesbian or heterosexual intended parents to establish legal parentage prior to the birth of the child(ren) without going through adoption proceedings.
Once the gestational surrogate is medically cleared and approved by the intended parents, the following occurs:
Individual lawyers will represent each party.
An agreement is reached between the intended parents and the surrogate, mediated by attorneys.
The legal contract is created. The contract is extensive and contains specifics about parentage, who has rights to decide the outcome of the pregnancy, medical issues that may arise, number of embryos to be transferred, financial obligations and payments, escrow (funding and legalities pertaining to California state laws).
The team at Western Fertility Institute understands that this process may seem intimidating, we are here to guide you and help make this process easier and less overwhelming. We are here to provide you with the tools needed to have a clear path to follow so that you have the confidence that your needs and concerns are being met each and every step of the way. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please feel free to contact our office anytime.