Surrogacy Laws in California
- Is California a surrogate friendly state: Yes.
- Can Parent(s) obtain a birth order without an adoption: Yes.
- Can birth order be obtained without a genetic connection to Child: Yes.
Summary of California Surrogacy Law:
California law allows intended parents or an intended parent to obtain legal rights over his/her/their baby before birth through a pre-birth order (PBO). California’s process for obtaining a PBO is simple, flexible, straightforward and usually does not require any court hearings. The intended parent(s) and the gestational carrier must enter into a written contract together. They must be represented by their own, separate, California attorney during the contract process. The contract must contain certain provisions per California statutes. They must notarize their signatures to the contract. The intended parent(s) and the gestational carrier can then obtain a California pre-birth order as long as one of the following requirements is also met:
- At least one party, either an intended parent and/or the gestational carrier signs the contract in California;
- The intended parent(s) reside(s) in California;
- The gestational carrier resides in California;
- One of the medical treatments in connection with the surrogacy arrangement (ie embryo transfer) was performed in California;
- The gestational carrier will give birth in California.
In addition to the contractual requirements, only ONE of the above criteria needs to be met. However, California Courts will often grant PBOs even if the intended parents and gestational carrier do not comply with all the California requirements.*
It is also possible to obtain a California PBO even if neither the gestational carrier or the intended parents live in California.* The PBO can then be accepted by another surrogacy-friendly State.* Typically, the California court will not request a hearing when granting the PBO, although this is on a case-by-case basis and dependent on which County the PBO request is filed.* Further, if the baby is suddenly expected to come earlier, the California attorneys can request the court expedite signing the PBO (an ex parte request). The expedition process usually causes the PBO to be signed and available within one to three business days.*
As long as all requirements are met, California Courts will grant a PBO to the following individuals:
- Married heterosexual couples regardless of genetic connection.
- Married homosexual couples regardless of genetic connection.
- Single intended parents regardless of genetic connection.
- Unmarried heterosexual couples regardless of genetic connection.
- Unmarried homosexual couples regardless of genetic connection.
*Please always consult with legal counsel for an analysis of your specific situation 1) to confirm the court will be able to grant the PBO and/or 2) that a different State will accept the California PBO.