The decision to become involved with surrogacy is a very important one. It’s going to have a profound effect on the surrogate mother, the intended parent or parents, and even the child in the future. With so much riding on the line, it’s good that there are laws to help guide the people in U.S. states and countries all over the world.
It’s important to note that while there are often laws in place, the laws are not always in support of surrogacy. Some states and countries have an outright ban on the process while other countries may have various process restrictions. For the most part, the laws tend to reflect the attitudes of the citizens of each state and country.
Surrogacy Laws in the U.S.
In general, U.S. citizens in most states are largely supportive of the surrogacy process. Since there are no actual government regulatory bodies making laws about surrogacy, most of the states look to The Center for Bioethics and Culture (CBC) to help set some general guidelines states can use to ensure the safe and equitable practice of surrogacy.
While most states do permit commercial surrogacy (surrogacy with compensation for the surrogate mother), there are a few states that shun that practice. However, they still support unpaid or altruistic surrogacy.
Currently, there are 40 states that support the practice of surrogacy with little to no restrictions. If restrictions are in place, they are usually in place to protect both the surrogate mother and the intended parents from legal issues in the future. They might also address the health of the surrogate mother. Note: Surrogacy in Pennsylvania is legal with very few restrictions.
In Idaho, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wyoming, Surrogacy is legal but participants should proceed with some caution. There may be specific legal issues that need to be addressed before surrogacy can go forward.
In Arizona and Indiana, the practice of surrogacy occurs. However, surrogacy contracts are null and void, meaning that the government in these states will only support altruistic surrogacy. In Louisiana, Michigan, and Nebraska, the surrogacy process is illegal.
If intended parents live in a state where surrogacy is a problem, they do have the option of working with a prospective surrogate mother that lives in a state where the practice is legal.
Surrogacy Laws in Other Countries
While the U.S. takes a rather liberal view of surrogacy, things can vary greatly from one country to the next. While some countries fully support surrogacy by law, still other countries have criminalized the process.
Since it is impossible to cover the rules in 270+ countries, the focus here will fall on major countries of interest.
Australia: Altruistic surrogacy is legal everywhere but in the Northern Territory, commercial surrogacy is illegal.
Canada: Altruistic surrogacy is legal everywhere but in Quebec, commercial surrogacy is illegal.
European Union Representing Many European Nations: Surrogacy with compensation of any kind is illegal.
Greece: Laws fully support both commercial and altruistic surrogacy.
India: Altruistic and commercial surrogacy is legal for anyone who is a Indian citizen.
Mexico: Surrogacy for Mexican residents only is lawful.
The Philippines: Both commercial and altruistic surrogacy is permitted by law for the benefit of both national and international intended parents.
Sweden: All surrogacy is unregulated with no socialize healthcare support.