Whether surrogate mothers have parental rights depends on the type of surrogacy arrangement and where the agreement takes place. California law distinguishes between traditional surrogacy and gestational pregnancy.

Surrogacy arrangements are complex, and it’s important that they are handled properly for the safety and emotional well-being of everyone involved. 

If you’re considering surrogacy, reach out to an experienced San Diego surrogacy lawyer to discuss your options in detail. 

What’s the Difference Between Traditional and Gestational Surrogacy in California?

There are two types of surrogacy: traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy. With traditional surrogacy, the person carrying the pregnancy is also the genetic mother of the baby. Usually, she conceived through artificial insemination with the intended father’s sperm and her own egg.

With gestational surrogacy, the woman carrying the pregnancy is not genetically related to the baby. The embryo is created in vitro using the sperm and egg of the intended parents, or donor eggs and sperm, and then transferred to the surrogate. 

Yes. There are no laws prohibiting traditional surrogacy in California. However, it comes with legal and emotional risks. 

The law surrounding gestational surrogacy is clear that the surrogacy agreement will be enforced, meaning the intended parents will be the legal parents, so long as the rules for surrogacy agreements are followed.

A surrogacy agreement is a legal contract between the surrogate and the intended parents, and it sets out the expectations and obligations of the parties. If a surrogacy agreement is executed in accordance with California law, it is legally enforceable. The medical process for surrogacy cannot legally begin in California until there is a validly executed surrogacy agreement.

California law requires both parties to a surrogacy agreement be represented by counsel when drafting and signing the agreement. 

Each agreement must contain the following information:

  • The date it was executed
  • The identity of the persons from whom the embryos originated
  • The identities of the intended parents
  • The process for any necessary pre-birth or parentage orders

The surrogacy agreement should also address the following information:

  • The rights, risks, and responsibilities of each party
  • Details of the surrogate’s compensation
  • Agreement on difficult issues, like termination of the pregnancy
  • Agreement on who will be present during appointments throughout the pregnancy and during birth

If you are considering taking part in a surrogacy arrangement in San Diego, CA, you should begin speaking with an experienced surrogacy attorney before taking further steps.

The Surrogate Mother’s Parental Rights

In California, a surrogate does not automatically have parental rights. California law recognizes the difference between genetic material in a pregnancy separately from who carries the pregnancy. Thus, in a gestational pregnancy, where the surrogate’s genetic material is not used, they would not automatically have parental rights.

An Experienced San Diego Surrogacy Law Attorney Is Here for You 

Surrogacy laws in California are complex and still evolving. Issues are further complicated if your surrogate gives birth in a state that does not acknowledge pre-birth orders. An Experienced San Diego surrogacy law attorney can work with you to secure the necessary surrogacy agreements and pre-birth orders.  If you are considering using a surrogate, reach out to an experienced San Diego surrogacy law attorney to discuss your needs.

Contact Our Family Law Firm in San Diego, CA

Contact our experienced lawyers at San Diego Divorce Lawyers, APC, today for legal assistance. Contact our San Diego office at (619) 866-3756 to schedule a free consultation.

San Diego Divorce Lawyers, APC
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San Diego, CA 92108