California Surrogacy Laws


When beginning your surrogacy journey, it is essential to remember that surrogacy laws differ from state to state. California is a surrogacy-friendly state due to the Uniform Patronage Act, which protects intended parents regardless of marital status, gender, sexual orientation, or status as genetic contributor. Additionally, many states require the intended parents to wait until the baby is born to obtain legal custody of their baby or require them to go through an adoption process. However, in California, you can establish parentage by submitting proper legal documents before the baby is born.

At Elevate, we have streamlined the assisted reproduction process to ensure it is as simple as possible and so you may focus on the journey of building your family. Every team member has either been a surrogate, worked with a surrogate, or has experienced assisted reproduction to achieve their dream of having a child. We help guide you through the process with a compassionate and empathetic approach. To learn more about California surrogacy laws, contact us today.

What are the Surrogacy Laws in California

California surrogacy is one of the most secure family planning processes in the US, making it extremely simple for intended parents and surrogates to have their rights protected throughout the family-building process. There are several surrogacy laws in California to consider that could impact your surrogacy journey. To ensure a smooth and legal process, it’s advisable to work with a surrogate lawyer who can guide you through compliance with these laws.”

The California statute § 7960 outlines the surrogacy laws in California, which include the following:

Surrogacy Is Legal in California

California surrogacy law is very favorable towards surrogacy, as established by California Supreme Court rulings of Calvert v. Johnson and Buzzanca v. Buzzanca. Beginning in January 2013, a gestational statute became law, allowing surrogacy in California. 

Traditional Surrogacy Is Legal in California

Although traditional surrogacy is not addressed in California surrogacy laws because of the lack of information in the laws, it’s not illegal and is therefore permitted. However, it is not as well-regulated as gestational surrogacy and has increased emotional and legal risks.

Compensated Surrogacy Is Legal in California

Commercial surrogacy is well-regulated and legal in California. However, surrogacy compensation does not ethically or legally mean that the intended parents are paying the surrogate for the exchange of their baby. Surrogates are compensated for their time, their lost wages, travel expenses, medical risks they accept, and more. There is no monetary restriction on how much a surrogate may be paid in California.

Same-Sex Surrogacy Is Legal in California

In California, LGBTQ+ couples have the same assisted reproductive rights as heterosexual couples and will experience the same surrogacy process, with the small exception of requiring an egg or sperm donor for the fertilization process.

Determining Legal Patronage in California

Pre-Birth Patronage Orders are legal in California and allow intended parents to establish their parental rights before their baby is born. Only in circumstances where California-based intended parents working with a surrogate with certain out-of-state surrogates that delivers where pre-birth patronage orders are not legal will they need to complete an adoption process in California after their child has arrived to establish their parental rights.  

Despite the process being fairly straightforward in California, you will still need to work with a surrogacy professional and surrogacy lawyer to ensure your legal rights and interests are protected as well as comply with California surrogacy laws during the process.

Creating a Surrogacy Contract in California

When a surrogate and intended parent begin the process of working together, California requires the creation and finalization of a surrogacy contract before the embryo transfer stages of the journey may begin. To ensure you are in compliance with California surrogacy laws, you may need to retain an experienced surrogacy lawyer to help you with this process.

Surrogacy laws require your surrogacy contract to contain the following information:

  • The date the contract was completed
  • The individuals from which the gametes derived
  • The identity of the intended parent(s)
  • The process for any necessary pre-birth or parentage orders

The contract may also outline details such as responsibilities and risks that each party must acknowledge, compensation, what-if situations and how they should be handled, expectations for contact, and other essential information. A contract helps simplify the process and enables a blueprint for unforeseen circumstances.

Contact Elevate Today to Learn More About California Surrogacy Laws

At Elevate, we may help guide you through the entire process, including ensuring you are in compliance with California surrogacy laws as an intended parent or surrogate. We source surrogates from across the United States in surrogacy-friendly states. Our California surrogacy agency understands the importance of favorable gestational surrogacy laws and policies of parentage and follows American Society for Reproductive Medicine guidelines. Our team understands the importance of having the best of the best during the surrogacy process and is proud to offer unbeatable services.

Call us today at (323) 933-8918 or fill out our contact form to understand more about California surrogacy laws and our unique, streamlined surrogacy process.

Getting Started

Whether you are interested in surrogacy or egg donation as an intended parent or potential donor, the process can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Begin your journey today!