Surrogacy in the US is regulated by state law, there are no federal laws regulating surrogacy in the United States.
Surrogacy in the US is not regulated by the federal government. It is allowed to be controlled by each state. The FDA and CDC have recommendations and guidelines that should be followed, but each state can create the laws that they deem necessary.
Also, there are two types of surrogacy, commercial and altruistic, and some states allow both, while others allow neither. Likewise, there are some places that only allow altruistic. Let’s take a brief look at what surrogacy in the US might entail.
Commercial surrogacy can be big business. Women can get paid thousands of dollars to be surrogates in some states. Most states that allow surrogacy allow commercial payment of surrogates. Some states have no real surrogacy regulations which can make surrogacy more complicated. Other states allow surrogacy but have restrictions on who can request the prebirth order. Same-sex couples in Arkansas can only allow the biological parent to do this. It is similar in Georgia, and other states only recognize the biological parent regardless of the relationship. Sometimes the parents must be married. Check your state’s rules before entering into a commercial journey.
Until May of 2020, New York only allowed altruistic journeys. This meant that women could not be paid for the journey, but their pregnancy-related expenses could be paid.
Gestational surrogacy is a pregnancy in which the carrier is not the biological mother of the fetus. This may be a friend, family member, or stranger when the journey begins. Some states only recognize these types of journeys. Indiana prohibits surrogacy contracts, for instance.
Sometimes, some prospective parents cannot use their own eggs and sperm to create the embryos, and an egg donor or sperm donor will need to be included in the process.
Most states prefer gestational surrogacy. Traditional surrogates are also the biological mothers to the babies, because the surrogate’s egg are used to create the embryos. The contracts get much more complicated. A traditional surrogacy changed New York’s surrogacy laws from the 1980s until now!
There are many facets to surrogacy in the United States. Most states are not that concerned with whether or not the donors know the intended parents prior to egg donation, so we did not explore those options in the US. Some states have very favorable laws and other states are not surrogacy friendly at all. The most important thing you can do is research the type of surrogacy journey that is best for you and then look at your state laws. Sometimes, you can live in a state not favorable to surrogacy but have a surrogate in a surrogacy friendly state. Check your and your surrogate’s state laws. Expanding your family should be as stress-free as possible and finding out at the last minute that you cannot be deemed the parents would not help anyone.
Good luck with whatever choice you decide to make.