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Student Project: Surrogacy Research Guide: California

This research guide explores surrogacy laws in the United States, specifically New York, New Jersey, Florida and California.

Surrogacy Law in California

California permits gestational surrogacy by statute and has the most liberal laws on surrogacy in the United States.

Legislative History

Case Law

Johnson v. Calvert, 5 Cal. 4th 84 (1993)

  • A seminal case in California where the Supreme Court of California held that a surrogacy contract is not barred by public policy.
  • The court also found the surrogate carrier agreed to provide the surrogacy service without any expectation that she would raise the child as her own.

In re Marriage of Moschetta, 25 Cal.App.4th 1218 (1994)

  • This was a case of first impression for the California Court of Appeals to determine parental rights of a child born of a traditional surrogacy agreement after the intended parents had separated.
  • The appellate court held that it would be inappropriate to consider the validity of the surrogacy agreement where the Act resolved the parentage issue as the surrogate was both the genetic and birth mother of the child.
  • Even though the intended parents had no genetic link to the child born to a surrogate, the court found that because they intended to procreate a child, under the Uniform Parentage Act they were the lawful parents of the born child.

Treatises & Practice Guides

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** Requires subscription to Westlaw