Surrogacy Legal States
These states are considered more surrogate-friendly:
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- New Mexico
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
These states are considered less surrogate-friendly
These states are considered the best places for surrogacy
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
These states outright discourage surrogacy
Is Surrogacy Illegal?
A surrogate is a woman that enters into a contract with another couple to conceive their child through the use of the womb. While this method has been practiced for thousands of years, only recently do we have the technology to implant a fully conceived zygote into another woman's womb, meaning that the child can be 100% related to its biological parents. Surrogacy is not illegal in the United States on a federal level. However, each law is different in each state. The list above not only lists the states that are friendly and unfriendly to their stance on surrogacy, but also the states in which it is best to become a surrogate and have your rights protected.
How are Surrogacy Laws Created?
It is important to note that there are no laws that explicitly were created for surrogacy, but rather arose out of both convenience and inconvenience. Many laws or acts that were enacted were due to different lawsuits. The fundamental issues regarding surrogacy are extensive, including the "possession" of the child, compensation, and full legal custody. Furthermore, surrogacy can be an expensive option, both for the surrogate and her hosts, meaning that on top of the medical bills associated with pregnancy, the woman must also be compensated for her "service".
This has given rise to different ways that states handle surrogacy laws and damages in the case that disputes arise - but are not ironclad. For example, Arkansas was the first state to introduce a law that related to surrogacy in 1989. It stipulates that the child belongs to the biological father and the father's wife, whether or not that child is genetically related to the mother or not. This discourages surrogates from claiming that the child is theirs in the case that the father's sperm is mixed with the surrogate's egg. It also states that if the child was conceived through donor sperm, the surrogate would be recognized as the lawful mother. The law does not seem to indicate how same-sex couples would benefit.
What Should Be Addressed in Surrogacy Laws?
It is difficult to ascertain exactly what issues could arise, but most situations are sensitive. Compensation, rightful custody, and non-traditional values need to be examined and carefully planned out. Regardless of the laws, surrogacy will go on to exist for couples that cannot procreate without the help of a healthy worm, making it one of America's most controversial topics.