Becoming a parent is one of the most beautiful and fulfilling experiences in life. However, for some couples, infertility or other medical issues may prevent them from conceiving a child naturally. In such cases, surrogacy may be an option. Surrogacy is the process of carrying a pregnancy for another individual or couple who cannot do so themselves. California is one of the most surrogacy-friendly states in the United States, with comprehensive surrogacy laws in place to protect the rights of all parties involved. In this article, we will provide an overview of California’s surrogacy laws, as well as what intended parents need to know when considering surrogacy as a family-building option.
Types of Surrogacy
Before diving into California’s surrogacy laws, it’s important to understand the different types of surrogacy available. There are two main types of surrogacy: traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy. Traditional surrogacy involves the surrogate mother using her own eggs to conceive the child, while gestational surrogacy involves the use of the intended mother’s eggs or donor eggs, fertilized with the intended father’s or donor’s sperm. In California, gestational surrogacy is the more commonly used method. At Elevate, and most surrogacy agencies, gestational surrogacy is the only type of surrogacy services that are offered.
Surrogacy Laws in California
California is one of the most surrogacy-friendly states in the country, with some of the most comprehensive surrogacy laws in place to protect the rights of all parties involved. The state has laws that specifically address the use of assisted reproductive technologies, including surrogacy. California also has a Uniform Parentage Act, which outlines the legal rights of intended parents and surrogates.
Intended parents in California have legal protections in place to ensure that they are recognized as the legal parents of their child. California law allows intended parents to establish their legal rights before the birth of the child, which can help avoid any legal disputes after the child is born. Intended parents can establish their parental rights through a pre-birth order or a post-birth order. However, most intended parents will opt for a pre-birth order.
A pre-birth order is a legal document that establishes the intended parents as the legal parents of the child before the birth of the child. This order is typically issued by a judge and is based on a gestational surrogacy agreement between the intended parents and the surrogate. The pre-birth order is typically filed in the county where the child will be born. This is in contrast to post-birth order when legal documents establishing the intended parents as the legal parents of the child doesn’t happen until after the birth.
In California, any intended parent or intended parents who are parties to a surrogacy agreement can obtain a pre-birth order. This includes international intended parents, single intended parents, and partnered same-sex couples, regardless of whether they have a genetic link to the child. This is an important distinction as many other states may not grant judgments of parentage to certain groups, especially those who are in unmarried partnerships, or those who may not share a genetic link with the offspring.
California’s surrogacy laws are some of the most comprehensive in the United States, and the state recognizes the rights of all intended parents equally. To obtain a pre-birth order in California, the intended parents must comply with certain requirements. They must have a valid surrogacy agreement in place that meets the requirements of California law, and the surrogate must have undergone a medical and psychological evaluation before being approved for surrogacy. The intended parents must also be represented by separate legal counsel.
It’s worth noting that international intended parents may face additional legal and logistical hurdles when pursuing surrogacy in California, such as obtaining the necessary visas and travel documents to enter the United States. However, once they have established a valid surrogacy agreement and met the requirements for a pre-birth order, they are entitled to the same legal protections as any other intended parents.
California law also allows for the use of a donor egg, sperm, or embryo. This means that intended parents can use a donor if they are unable to use their own genetic material to conceive a child.
Surrogate Requirements in California
California has specific requirements for surrogates who wish to participate in a surrogacy arrangement. Surrogates must be at least 21 years old, have given birth to at least one child, and have a clean bill of health. Surrogates must also undergo a medical and psychological evaluation before being approved for surrogacy.
There is a law in California that limits liens placed on surrogacy-friendly medical insurance plans. The law is called the Surrogacy Protection Act, which was passed in 2013 and became effective on January 1, 2014.
Under the Surrogacy Protection Act, health care service plans or health insurers are prohibited from placing liens or subrogation rights on benefits paid for a surrogate mother or the child of a surrogate mother, except for medical expenses related to the surrogacy pregnancy and childbirth. This means that the intended parents are not required to reimburse their insurance company for the cost of the surrogacy or the medical expenses associated with the surrogate pregnancy, except for the expenses directly related to the pregnancy and childbirth.
This law is a significant protection for intended parents who may have surrogacy-friendly insurance plans. It ensures that they are not financially burdened by additional expenses beyond those directly related to the surrogacy pregnancy and childbirth. This protection is particularly important because surrogacy can be an expensive process, and intended parents may already be facing significant costs associated with the surrogacy arrangement.
It’s worth noting that the Surrogacy Protection Act only applies to surrogacy arrangements that take place in California. If you are considering surrogacy in another state, it’s important to check the laws of that state to see if similar protections are in place.
Surrogacy can be a beautiful option for intended parents who are unable to conceive a child naturally. California is one of the most surrogacy-friendly states in the United States, with comprehensive surrogacy laws in place to protect the rights of all parties involved. The favorable laws of California are one reason why intended parents from around the world seek out California based surrogates and clinics. To learn more about surrogacy in California or surrogacy in general, please contact us at email@example.com