In the United States, laws concerning surrogacy can vary widely from state to state. In some states, only non-compensated surrogacy arrangements are allowed to take place. In others, surrogacy laws are very accommodating to third party reproduction agreements and allow both altruistic and paid surrogacy agreements.
The state of California is very accepting of surrogacy agreements. In fact, it is commonly referred to as a “surrogacy friendly” state. California is one of a few states that currently allow intended parents to establish legal parentage rights before the birth of their child (or children) without having to go through adoption proceedings as is necessary in most states. California law allows this regardless of whether the intended parents are married or if they are members of the LGBT community.
Even though California is a state that allows surrogacy agreements with relative ease, there are requirements that all invested parties must adhere to before, during, and post-birth in order for the agreement to be valid and upheld by courts if needed:
• California surrogacy law requires that the intended parents and surrogate are represented by separate legal counsel. They cannot share the same lawyer who would be representing both of their interests during this time.
• Gestational surrogacy agreements must be notarized in order to be considered valid under the law, and these agreements must be executed and notarized before the administration of the medications that are used in assisted reproductions or embryo transfer procedures.
• California law also require that all parties within a gestational surrogacy agreement attest to their compliance with all relevant laws or face a charge of perjury.
The laws in California are very clear as to the requirement for intended parents to establish their parentage before the baby’s birth. With the aid of an attorney, a series of steps must be taken in order to file a copy of the surrogacy agreement in a court of law. Once this has been completed, records of the agreement will be sealed except to the intended parents, the gestational carrier, the attorneys of both parties, and the state’s Department of Social Services.