Disclaimer: This is not legal advice and should not be used in lieu of speaking with an attorney about surrogacy law. This is purely a perspective based on our own research.
Over the last few years, surrogacy as a means of expanding one’s family has become a much more common method of bringing children into this world. Given all the shifting variables and new circumstances that the industry continues to face, it is important for surrogates and intended parents alike to understand the surrogacy laws by state and what that means for them.
Below we have provided a list of all the states where surrogacy is legal as well as any additional requirements you must meet in order to qualify for it. If you don’t see your state listed here, it is either because surrogacy is not legal there or because surrogacy law is particularly unfavorable – at least for now!
States with the Most Favorable Surrogacy Laws
The following states are considered to have the most favorable surrogacy laws. If you live in one of these states, it is most likely that you will have legally-sound surrogacy process. That said, it is always a good idea to consult with an attorney before you begin your journey.
- California – Gestational surrogacy is allowed, and pre- and post-birth orders are allowed for both married and unmarried couples, same-sex couples, and singles.
- Connecticut – Gestational surrogacy is allowed for married and unmarried couples, same-sex couples, and singles.
- Delaware – Gestational surrogacy is allowed.
- District of Columbia – As of 2017, gestational surrogacy is allowed.
- Maine – As of 2016, gestational surrogacy is allowed.
- New Hampshire – Gestational surrogacy is allowed.
- Nevada – Gestational surrogacy is allowed.
- Oregon – Gestational surrogacy is allowed.
- Rhode Island – Gestational surrogacy is allowed.
- Washington – Effective in 2019, the state of Washington now allows compensated surrogacy agreements as well as other types of surrogacy.
States That Allow Surrogacy… But with an Asterisk
The following states also allow surrogacy, but their laws are not as cut and dry as the ones listed above. If you live in one of these states, it is important that you educate yourself on surrogacy laws to make sure that you qualify for legal surrogacy.
- Alabama – Allows surrogacy but unmarried couples need a common-law union unless to secure a pre-birth order.
- Alaska – Although there are no direct laws, courts are generally favorable.
- Arkansas – Laws are highly favorable, but married couples especially favored.
- Colorado – Laws are favorable for couples of all kinds.
- Florida – Traditional and gestational surrogacy are permitted for married couples only.
- Georgia – Courts are favorable to couples of all kinds.
- Hawaii – Courts are favorable to couples using their own sperm and egg.
- Idaho – Only post-birth orders are granted; couples must use their own sperm and egg.
- Illinois – Gestational surrogacy is legal Illinois. However, results may vary by county.
- Iowa – Courts are typically in favor of surrogacy, but financial agreements are not allowed.
- Kentucky – Married couples are most favored in pre-birth orders.
- Louisiana – Gestational surrogacy is allowed for married couples using their own sperm and egg only.
- Massachusetts – Courts typically respond in favor, and pre-birth orders are allowed.
- Mississippi – Courts decide between pre and post-birth orders.
- Missouri – Gestational surrogacy is legal, but only post-birth declarations are allowed.
- Nebraska – Nebraska allows surrogacy in non-financial situations.
- North Carolina – Surrogates must have already given birth and be at least 21.
- North Dakota – Courts decide whether agreements are pre- or post-birth.
- Ohio – Referencing J.F.v.D.B.,879N.E.2d740, gestational surrogacy is fully allowed and permitted in the state of Ohio.
- Oklahoma – Courts are in typically in favor of surrogacy; post birth orders are most common.
- Pennsylvania – Based on Baby S. Appeal of S.S, 2015 Pa. Super. 244, surrogacy contracts are legally binding in the state of Pennsylvania; some conservative judges refuse pre-birth orders.
- South Dakota – Gestational surrogacy is allowed in South Dakota; pre-birth orders commonly granted.
- Tennessee – In the state of Tennessee, gestational surrogacy is allowed for married couples only; either the parents must provide the sperm and egg or the father can provide the sperm for the surrogate’s egg.
- Texas – Gestational surrogacy is allowed; contracts must be approved by court in advance; validates post-birth agreements only.
- Utah – Statute requires court approval of contracts in advance; post-birth agreements validated only.
- Vermont – Gestational surrogacy is allowed in Vermont; post-birth agreements only.
- Virginia – Complex stipulations; most couples file an action post-birth to amend the birth certificate.
- West Virginia – Married couples favored; pre-birth orders issued.
- Wisconsin – Pre-birth orders issued; married couples favored.