This research guide explores surrogacy laws in the United States, specifically New York, New Jersey, Florida and California. These four states demonstrate a variety of views on surrogacy, ranging from a complete disallowance, disallowance with some exceptions, allowance with restrictions and full and complete allowance with no restrictions.
Surrogacy - "The process of carrying and delivering a child for another person."
Black's Law Dictionary 1674 (10th ed. 2014).
Traditional Surrogacy - "A pregnancy in which a woman provides her own egg, which is fertilized by artificial insemination, and carries the fetus and gives birth to a child for another person." Black's Law Dictionary 1674 (10th ed. 2014).
Gestational Surrogacy - "A pregnancy in which one woman (the genetic mother) provides the egg, which is fertilized, and another woman (the surrogate mother) carries the fetus and gives birth to the child." Black's Law Dictionary 1674 (10th ed. 2014).
The rapid pace of advancement in reproductive technology has given infertile couples, same-sex couples, and single individuals ways to build a family through surrogacy. However, the legislative reaction in the United States has been very slow and the answers to the legal questions presented as to the determination of parentage vary from state to state.
The first case dealing with surrogacy in the United States was (discussed in detail in the following tab). This case dealt with a traditional surrogacy contract. Shortly thereafter, progress in in-vitro fertilization led to gestational surrogacy which impelled the courts to charter into unknown territory with no or limited legislative guidance.
Because of the publicity and national attention to the Baby M case, some states reacted by enacting legislature dealing with surrogacy (banning, limiting or permitting it) and some states left the issues to be decided by courts through contract and family law.
United States has no national policy regarding surrogacy, therefore, each state enacts its own surrogacy laws.