The Best Advice for Those Researching Local Fertility Law
In the United States, legal issues regarding fertility treatments are handled by state authorities, rather than falling under federal jurisdiction, and fertility laws differ widely from state to state. It’s important to know the differences among states’ policies when researching fertility law.
The National Conference of State Legislatures provides specifics for each of the 16 states that have passed laws requiring insurance companies to cover infertility care: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, and West Virginia. (California’s and Texas’ laws actually only require insurers to offer that care.)
Outside the United States, different countries’ fertility laws differ as well. See this BBC report for a country-by-country breakdown. If you are traveling to the U.S. for fertility services, you’ll want to find a fertility lawyer who has experience working with families around the world.
At Klein Fertility Law, we have worked with families around the world and around the country. We encourage you to get in touch with our office to discuss any questions or concerns you have about third-party reproduction and its attendant legal issues.
Surrogacy Legality by State
While fertility care in general can present several legal issues to consider, in the U.S. the legality of surrogacy in particular varies. Surrogacy is not simply legal in some states and banned in others; some states explicitly allow surrogacy, others refuse to enforce surrogacy contracts but don’t ban the practice outright, and some explicitly forbid surrogacy and punish it by law, but each state’s laws on the matter are different.
LGBT Intended Parents and Other Legal Fertility Issues
States’ fertility laws also differ widely for LGBT intended parents. For example, in Arkansas, same-sex couples need to be married to enter a surrogacy agreement, whereas in Texas, only married heterosexual couples can enter gestational surrogacy agreements.
Other differences include payment for surrogacy: In Washington, commercial surrogacy (in which the surrogate is compensated financially) is banned, but altruistic (unpaid) surrogacy is legal.
Ask Questions About Fertility Legality
Make sure you are familiar with all the ways in which your country or state’s fertility laws differ from those of others, and what that means for your fertility needs.