Is Surrogacy Legal?
April 25 2024

Is Surrogacy Legal?

Surrogacy presents an opportunity for hetero or gay couples and singles to have biological children of their own. This has led many to embrace it as the ultimate way to fulfill their dreams. However, the subject of surrogacy has garnered so many different views, even among policymakers in various nations worldwide. 


These views have led to the outright ban of surrogacy programs in some countries. At the same time, other surrogacy-friendly nations choose to create laws with legal guidelines that enforce ethical practices between intended parents and surrogate mothers. We will spotlight which countries have active surrogacy programs, their general legal requirements, and what to do where surrogacy legal hurdles exist.

Where Is Surrogacy Legal?

The big question on every intended parent(s) lips is, where is surrogacy legal? Surrogacy is legal in Ukraine, the United States of America, Columbia, Mexico, Georgia, Canada, Greece, Argentina, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Thailand. However, even when surrogacy is not banned in these nations, the legal guidelines that must be adhered to differ. 


In the United States, Ukraine, Mexico, and Columbia, where commercial surrogacy is allowed, surrogate mothers can receive financial compensation for taking part in the surrogacy process. Yet in other nations like Canada, the UK, and Greece, intended parents and surrogates will run into tons of surrogacy legal troubles, except it is strictly on a charitable basis.


Meanwhile, in some countries with laws that neither prohibit nor allow surrogacy among their citizens or foreigners, surrogacy agencies are allowed to thrive. This is the case in Georgia. However, within the year, Georgia plans to adjust its Health laws to prohibit international surrogacy programs and tighten the reins on its local surrogacy program. Its surrogacy legal guidelines will only accommodate heterosexual couples and single females, with no provisions for gay couples or single Dads. 


A country's legal standing tends to affect the access to willing surrogate mothers. Without the option of a proper compensation plan put together by a surrogacy agency like the World Center of Baby (WCOB), surrogate mothers are more reluctant to enter into a program. This forces aspiring parents in nations or states whose surrogacy legal contracts permit only altruistic programs to rely more on the goodwill of willing family members and friends for biological children.

Surrogacy Legal Issues to Expect From Surrogacy Programs

Due to the sensitive nature of surrogacy arrangements, several legal issues could arise. The nature of the legal concern will depend on whether the surrogacy program is commercial, altruistic, or international.


Altruistic Surrogacy Programs

Altruistic surrogacy programs are probably the most volatile from a surrogacy legal perspective. The reason for this is that the government doesn't provide any legal cover for the intended parents in most countries practicing this type of surrogacy. In the UK, the surrogate mother has a right to change her mind and retain the baby as hers, even after expenses like medical bills or feeding allowances have been catered for. Her legal partner equally has a right over the baby. If this occurs, the intended parents cannot lay any claims over the child even when it is biologically theirs (i.e., egg and sperm were provided by them).


International Surrogacy Programs

Intended parents who are seeking more cost-friendly surrogacy programs usually opt to explore international options in Ukraine, Mexico, and other top surrogacy destinations. The common surrogacy legal issues that have come up in these cases are issues of parental rights that complicate the process of getting visas to move newborns back to their home country. 


Working with a surrogacy agency with a proven record of successfully handling international surrogacy processes is the best way to avoid encountering parental rights challenges. It's best to start by reviewing an agency's intended parents' testimonials to get a feel of what to expect if you decide to work with them. World Center of Baby has a couple right here to get you started.

What to do When Surrogacy Legal Hurdles Exist

Dealing with surrogacy legal hurdles requires that interested parties get a well-rounded understanding of the issue of concern. For instance, the United States is one of the most surrogacy-friendly nations in the world. However, with no federal laws regulating surrogacy practices, every state is responsible for creating rules and guidelines for its residents. This has resulted in some states' surrogacy-friendly laws while others may be unfavorable or hostile. This will usually leave the intended parents or surrogates scrambling to find more out-of-state options if they reside in areas with unfriendly policies.


While some intended parents worry about the legalities of navigating unfriendly state laws, others have more significant issues, like dealing with altruistic surrogacy programs. A program that drastically reduces their chances of encountering able and willing surrogates.


Even when these may seem like insurmountable problems, the best and safest way to navigate any existing surrogacy legal hurdle is to seek the help of a lawyer who specializes in reproduction and surrogacy laws. Their expert knowledge can help intended parents and surrogates navigate issues that could pose a legal risk to either party. They're usually more well-versed in the nitty-gritty of surrogacy laws and can advise on everything from finding a match to the best agencies and support groups to join.


If finding a decent lawyer proves challenging, some surrogacy agencies have great relationships with legal firms that will walk with you through your journey and protect your rights. One such agency is the World Center of Baby, which prides itself on providing the best legal support while meeting the needs of heterosexual, same-sex couples and singles looking to start their own families. It is essential to put your legal rights at the top of your list when considering surrogacy agencies to share your journey with and find one that values them.


In almost every sphere of life, some laws and guidelines regulate how the people involved conduct themselves, and surrogacy programs are no exception. Before any surrogacy journey, there'll be questions like, is surrogacy legal in my state or country? If the answer uncovers some surrogacy legal issues, it might lead to more questions about alternatives, like where is surrogacy legal? Getting familiar with the answers to all these questions ahead of time will lead to better satisfaction after decision-making.

Join us for an exclusive interview with Declan and Ellen, an Irish couple who embarked on an emotional journey through surrogacy in Ukraine with World Center of Baby. Against all odds, they welcomed their son, Cillian, into the world. Listen to their heartfelt story as they share the highs, lows, and ultimately the joy of becoming parents through surrogacy. Gain insight into the challenges they faced, the support they received, and the profound impact Cillian has had on their lives. Don't miss this touching tale of love, resilience, and the beautiful gift of family.

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