Surrogacy and Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)
Surrogacy is the carrying and delivering of a child by a woman who then gives the child to another person or couple, transferring parental rights in the process. In “traditional surrogacy,” the surrogate mother contributes her own egg to the surrogacy, while in “gestational surrogacy,” the surrogate mother is impregnated with another woman’s fertilized egg and gives birth to a child who is not biologically related to her. Surrogacy (either traditional or gestational) is a great option for LGBTQ prospective parents who would like to have a child who is genetically related to one or both parents; it is most often utilized by male same-sex couples, but can also be used by two women or a couple where either or both partners are transgender.
However, a patchwork of state laws and regulations make accessing surrogacy difficult by creating barriers as well as uncertainty regarding the determination of parentage. This uncertainty can arise when the child is born. And, it can arise even before the child is born if the parents have chosen to petition a court for a pre-birth order. Such orders require hospitals to list the intended parents on the birth certificate at the time of the child’s birth instead of going through the process later on.