What are the laws with regard to surrogacy in California?

California is often considered the very best state in the U.S. for surrogacy and often the ‘gold standard’ for surrogacy globally.  It has the very best success rates and an openness to various family types.  There is significant case law and was a revision to the Family Code in January, 2013 that further entrenches the rights of intended parents (IP’s); a pre-birth order is established in the second trimester of gestation recognizing the intended parents as the lawful parents of a surrogacy relationship.

Will the surrogate’s name be listed on the birth certificate?

No, a surrogate’s name will not be represented on the birth certificate.  There are certain situations where a single or same-sex IP’s from certain countries  may want to initially represent a surrogate on the birth certificate.  This may be the only jurisdiction globally where this can happen and an amendment be made later to the birth certificate removing the surrogate mother.  The absolute most flexibility can be achieved in California in this regard.

Can we use an egg or sperm donor?

Yes, both egg and sperm donation are allowed; the U.S. is also the only country in the world where commercial egg donation is allowed and donors may be known to the IP’s.

Is embryo adoption or the use of both an egg and a sperm donor allowed?

It is allowed; it will be important to remember though that if you are from another country, this may limit your ability to attain home citizenship for your baby.  It does not affect parentage though which is established in California, regardless of genetic link.

Can I undertake surrogacy as a single parent, same sex couple, or non-married couple?

Absolutely.  California offers the ultimate in flexibility in family building.  All family types are welcome.

As a same sex couple, can both men or both women be listed on the birth certificate?

Yes, 2 men or 2 women can be listed on the birth certificate.

As a same sex male couple, can we egg split and implant one embryo from each partner with the hope of getting twins?

Yes, this is allowed and is common practice.

How do I acquire home citizenship for my baby?

It is vital you check your home country’s requirements for citizenship acquisition for your baby and the legality of overseas surrogacy in advance of you starting the process.  Every country is different and has different legal requirements.

Will our baby be granted U.S. citizenship at birth?

Yes, your baby will be born a U.S. citizen.  Some countries may require you to choose the citizenship of your baby and may not allow dual citizenship.  Your baby is also eligible for a U.S. passport which many take advantage of to travel home more quickly, and subsequently process home citizenship later.

How long will the home citizenship process take  in California?

This varies by country.  You should contact your country’s embassy to find out.

What if we want twins?

Twins is very common in assisted reproduction, but it can never be guaranteed.  It is normal to implant 2 embryos during IVF.

Is Pre-Genetic Screening (PGS) and gender selection allowed?

Both are allowed in California.

Can we meet and communicate with our surrogate throughout the process?

Not only can you meet and communicate with your surrogate during the process in California, it is highly encouraged.  Most fertility lawyers will recommend you talk to your surrogate directly once per week.  California offers the most open surrogate relationships in the world.

Can we get newborn insurance for our baby(ies)?

If you are American, your own insurance policy will automatically transfer to your baby at birth.  For international IP’s, newborn insurance is available for you baby(ies) in California.  Contact us to learn more.