The parental rights of the intended parents to their child in a surrogacy arrangement depend on state law, typically the state where their surrogate gives birth. These laws vary from state to state and range from very favorable to very unfavorable. But in the majority of states there is no law governing surrogacy, and in those states there is uncertainty as to the legal result. Regardless, establishing the parent-child relationship between intended parents and their child requires the involvement of the state courts. SSA recruits surrogates from those states with favorable surrogacy laws and your SSA attorney will explain the applicable legal process to all participants before the match.
The legal consequences of donor arrangements (sperm, egg or embryo) also depend on state law. As with surrogacy, state laws governing donor arrangements vary significantly from state to state. Most states have favorable laws governing sperm donation. But only a handful of states have similar laws for egg or embryo donation. Donor arrangements often involve conflicting laws in multiple states, for example where you have recipient parents in one state, a donor in a second state, and the IVF clinic in a third state. These situations require the involvement of an attorney with expertise in assisted reproductive law to ensure that the participants achieve their desired legal goals.
Most SSA surrogates and egg donors live in Texas. Texas is one of the best states in the U.S. for couples interested in third party assisted reproduction. Participants in donor (sperm, egg or embryo) and gestational surrogacy arrangements are granted the full protection of the law. By statute, court approved “gestational agreements” between married couples and their surrogates are valid and enforceable contracts in Texas.