California Surrogacy Law: What You Need to Know

Laws regarding surrogacy are not uniform from one state to another in America. One of the leading misconceptions intended parents have is that when they are ready to begin their surrogacy journey, they will be able to do so with ease within their home state. For some, including those who reside in the state of California, this may be true. Unfortunately, for others, gestational surrogacy agreements are prohibited, and the experience can require additional planning, travel and expense.

U.S. surrogacy law from state to state
Intended parents researching surrogacy laws will become familiar with terminology labeling a state as either “surrogacy friendly” or “not surrogacy friendly.” This is in regard to how a given state’s laws approach surrogacy contracts — some states allow agreements to take place; some allow agreements, but with certain caveats (for example, whether the surrogate is compensated); and other states fail to acknowledge — or they outright prohibit — surrogacy.

It’s very important for intended parents seeking a surrogacy arrangement to review the laws within their state relating to third-party reproduction. In cases where intended parents reside in a state that is not surrogacy friendly, they may have to work with a surrogate mother who resides in a different state. This is why many intended parents traveling from outside the U.S. choose to work with a surrogate in states such as California, because surrogacy may not be allowed in their home country. So they travel to states where the law is favorable to working with a surrogate.

California surrogacy law
Among those states considered to be surrogacy friendly, California is favored for the following reasons:

  • In California, intended parents are able to establish their legal parental rights prior to the birth of their child/children without having to complete adoption proceedings. The need to complete adoption proceedings is required in many other states in the U.S.
  • In California, intended parents are not required to be married in order to establish legal parental rights.
  • In California, intended parents who are LGBT can establish legal parental rights prior to the birth of their child/children.

Even though surrogacy friendly, California does require the following:

  • Both intended parents and the gestational surrogate must have their own legal representation; this is required and means that the involved parties cannot share legal counsel.
  • The surrogacy contract must be notarized and done so prior to the use of medications used to begin assisted reproduction services, such as the embryo transfer.

If you have questions about surrogacy law in the United States or, more specifically, within the state of California, please contact the law office of Klein Fertility Law today at 619.235.8913.

Back to blog