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Friday, 26 May 2023 15:15

Can a surrogate keep the baby. Parental Rights in Surrogacy: do surrogates have rights to the baby?

Surrogacy is an increasingly popular and relevant method for individuals and couples to start a family. However, it brings with it a host of legal and ethical questions. One of the most common questions is: Do surrogate mothers have parental rights? This essential question prompts us to delve deeper into the complexities of surrogacy laws and the emotions of everyone involved.

The Landscape of Surrogacy

The process of surrogacy is a unique blend of medical science, legal parameters, and human emotions. It requires intended parents and a surrogate mother to work together to create a new family.

Each surrogacy agreement carries unique implications for parental rights. These agreements lay out the rights of intended parents and surrogate mothers, making it clear who the legal parents of the baby will be.

In any surrogacy arrangement, the legal definition of a parent is crucial. The intended parents are the individuals who initiate the surrogacy process with the intention of raising the child. However, the legal recognition of these individuals as parents can be complex and varies from state to state.

Surrogacy agreements and contracts play a significant role in establishing the legal parents. These documents should clearly outline the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved, including the surrogate mother and the intended parents. It's important to consult with an experienced attorney to ensure these agreements are legally sound and enforceable. In some states, the surrogate mother is presumed to be the legal mother unless a court acknowledges the parentage of the intended parents.

The Legal Tools: Understanding Pre-Birth and Post-Birth Orders

When navigating the surrogacy process, two important legal instruments come to the forefront – pre-birth and post-birth orders. These court-issued orders affirm the parental rights of the intended parents over the baby.

Pre-birth and post-birth orders play a vital role in the surrogacy process. They allow for the clear definition of parental roles and rights, reducing the chance of confusion or disagreement.

A pre-birth order is a pivotal legal tool that assigns the rights of parenthood to the intended parents even before the child's birth. This document is laden with benefits for the intended parents, encompassing the authority to make crucial medical decisions for the baby and the mandate for the hospital to recognize the intended parents on the child's birth certificate.

However, the need to comprehend the specific laws and regulations in your state regarding pre-birth orders is paramount, as the process and prerequisites for procuring a pre-birth order can differ significantly across states. In states where pre-birth orders are legally acknowledged, this step offers reassurance for the intended parents and aids in addressing insurance coverage concerns. In certain scenarios, intended parents can initiate the paperwork as early as the fourth month of gestation, highlighting the need for early preparation.

Post-Birth Order: A Necessary Legal Step in Certain Cases

There may be a need for a post-birth order in some instances. This legal document confirms the intended parents as the lawful parents following the child's birth. Similar to pre-birth orders, the prerequisites for post-birth orders can differ by state. In states that necessitate post-birth orders, intended parents need to make a court appearance following the birth. The surrogate mother is required to give her consent to renounce legal rights once again after birth, emphasizing the need for clear communication and understanding between all parties involved.

Can The Surrogate Mother Keep The Baby?

One of the most contentious issues in surrogacy is whether the surrogate mother can keep the baby. In most cases, the surrogate mother has no legal rights to the child, especially if a legally enforceable surrogacy contract is in place. However, this can depend on the specific laws of the state where the surrogacy takes place.

It's important to note that the surrogate mother must consent to relinquish her parental rights. If a surrogate mother is struggling with emotions after transferring the baby to the intended parents, counseling is often recommended. In some states, the surrogate may revoke her consent up to 48 hours after giving birth under certain circumstances.

The Role of Surrogacy Agreements

Surrogacy agreements can significantly influence the question of parental rights. Clear and detailed contracts help to outline the roles, rights, and expectations of all parties involved.

Legal clarity in surrogacy contracts is essential to ensure smooth surrogacy processes. Comprehensive contracts can reduce the chances of disagreements and disputes that may arise during the journey.


Surrogacy is a complex process with many legal implications. The question of whether surrogate mothers have parental rights is not straightforward and depends on various factors, including the specific laws of the state, the terms of the surrogacy agreement, and the type of surrogacy arrangement.

It's crucial for anyone considering surrogacy to seek professional advice and guidance. Working with a reputable surrogacy agency can help ensure that all parties' rights are protected throughout the process. They can guide you through the legal steps necessary to establish parental rights and help you navigate the complexities of surrogacy laws.

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Under Ukrainian law, surrogacy is a legal affordable option for traditionally married couples to have children using their own embryos, or with either an egg or sperm donor. There must be a medical reason you can’t carry a child. You are also able to participate if you have had 4 unsuccessful IVF attempts.


Under Ukrainian law, surrogacy is a legal affordable option for traditionally married couples to have children using their own embryos, or with either an egg or sperm donor. There must be a medical reason you can’t carry a child. You are also able to participate if you have had 4 unsuccessful IVF attempts.