Becoming a Surrogate - How to determine who's name will be on the birth certificate

Quite often when people think of surrogacy, they think of traditional surrogacy. Traditional surrogacy is when a woman uses her own egg and is fertilized by the Intended Father through artificial insemination. The surrogate is biologically related to the child she is carrying and, in most states, has parental rights toward the child. Due to the legal complications that can evolve from traditional surrogacy most agencies will only match gestational surrogates.

Gestational surrogates carry a child unrelated to her. The embryo can be made from the egg and sperm of the Intended Parents, an egg donor and the sperm of the Intended Father, or an egg donor and a sperm donor. The surrogate's parental rights vary from state to state but are significantly less than that of a traditional surrogate. Occasionally, depending on the laws in the state where the child is born, the Intended Parents' names can even be put on the birth certificate.

In most states a traditional surrogate has parental rights to the child and there is a time period in which she can change her mind. In most states that right is not afforded to a gestational surrogate.

Every state has different laws regarding surrogacy and whose names will be put on the birth certificate after the child's birth. In some states a pre-birth order can be procured and the Intended Parents' names are put on the birth certificate. In other states the surrogate is often put on the birth certificate as the mother and the Intended Father is put on the birth certificate as the Father. In some states all children born to the wife of a man are assumed to be his biological children and the surrogate and her husband's name are put on the birth certificate.

It is important to hire an attorney experienced in reproductive law in the state where your child will be born to insure that your rights are protected. Intended Parents are often required to adopt their children in states that do not allow pre-birth orders. Every experienced reproductive attorney will be aware of the unique laws in the surrogate friendly state where your surrogate lives and will be glad to help you through this process.

At GSMoms we look at your unique situation when you apply as Intended Parents and show you profiles of surrogates in states that will fit your needs. We will also refer you to a Reproductive Attorney that will go over the state laws and procedures with you once you have matched with your surrogate. If you would like to speak with an attorney before you match we are happy to provide this referral earlier in the process. Most attorneys only practice in one state and can only answer questions regarding their own state law. If keeping costs low is not an immediate concern I can refer you to an International Reproductive attorney that can speak to laws and practice in each surrogate friendly state. His fees are slightly higher than other reproductive attorneys.

Gestational Surrogate Moms, Inc. (GSMoms) is a full-service surrogacy and egg donor agency that focuses on keeping the most significant decision in life - that of starting a family - a personal experience. Whether you are an intended parent, surrogate, egg donor, clinical partner and/or sister agency, you will always feel our level of commitment. Our GSMoms family will work you through this process, and treat you with the care you deserve during such a critical time in your lives. 

We are a global company with our main offices located in Sacramento, California, and Champaign, Illinois. We also have a satellite office in Pasadena, California; and work with partners and other agencies located throughout the world, including Tel Aviv, Israel, and Shenzhen, China.