Surrogacy in Kentucky is still a rather new family-building process and area of law. There are no surrogacy laws in Kentucky to look to currently — but that doesn’t mean surrogacy in this state is impossible for intended parents and surrogates who live here.
It’s crucial that all prospective parties in a Kentucky surrogacy work with a surrogacy professional from the beginning of their process to determine that it’s the right path for them and that there is a safe legal process for them to follow. There are unique legal situations that arise in states with no surrogacy laws, and the guidance of a local surrogacy attorney in Kentucky is key to navigating this modern way of building a family.
You can find answers to your most commonly asked questions about Kentucky surrogacy laws below. When you are ready to begin your surrogacy journey, you can contact American Surrogacy to get started.
Q: Is surrogacy legal in Kentucky?
A: While there are no surrogacy laws in Kentucky, there is a legal process for intended parents and surrogates who wish to complete this family-building method. Therefore, surrogacy is legal in Kentucky when the proper steps are followed.
Q: Is compensated surrogacy legal in Kentucky?
A: Yes. There are no legal restrictions on the base compensation that a surrogate can receive in a Kentucky surrogacy.
Q: Is traditional surrogacy legal in Kentucky?
A: No. Kentucky laws specifically state that “a person, agency, institution, or intermediary shall not be party to a contract or an agreement which would compensate a woman for her artificial insemination and subsequent termination of parental rights to a child born as a result.”
Q: What does a surrogacy agreement in Kentucky cover, and how does the legal process work?
A: Because there are no surrogacy laws in Kentucky, there are no specific legal regulations that must be followed when drafting a Kentucky surrogacy contract. The process is very similar to the process in any other state that also lacks surrogacy laws.
In order to create a contract for a surrogacy in Kentucky, intended parents and their surrogate must be represented by separate surrogacy attorneys. This way, they can ensure that all their rights and interests are appropriately protected. The two lawyers will negotiate a contract that addresses all possible issues of the Kentucky surrogacy, including:
- Rights and responsibilities of each party
- Potential risks and liabilities of each party
- Surrogate compensation and other financial information
- Contact expectations before, during and after the surrogacy process
- Plans for the hospital stay
- Steps for establishing the intended parents’ parental rights
- And more
Once this contract is complete and signed by both parties, the surrogacy in Kentucky can move forward with the beginning of the medical process.
Q: Are surrogacy contracts (whether compensated or altruistic) enforceable in Kentucky?
A: The legal status of enforceable surrogacy contracts in Kentucky is unclear. Please speak with a local surrogacy attorney in Kentucky for more information on this issue.
Q: What are the surrogacy laws in Kentucky on parentage orders?
A: Kentucky surrogacy courts typically grant pre-birth parentage orders to married couples when both have used their own gametes or when one intended parents has used donor gametes. Courts will also grant orders when a single parent has used his or her gametes.
While every judge will be different, Kentucky courts typically do not favor unmarried couples, even when one or both used their own gametes. If there is no genetic relationship to the child at all, courts are unlikely to grant a parentage order at all. However, the federal marriage equality ruling did make previously illegal same-sex marriage legal in this state, and local practices for establishing rights for LGBT parents may have changed in response.
However, the availability of a pre-birth parentage order will always depend upon the court and judge overseeing the surrogacy case. Like in many states, certain courts will more readily grant parentage orders than other courts. Speak with a local Kentucky surrogacy attorney to determine what steps are necessary in your situation.
Q: Are there any particular laws for parents outside the U.S. who complete a surrogacy in Kentucky?
A: No. There are no surrogacy laws in Kentucky that specifically apply to international intended parents.
Q: When do intended parents need to complete an adoption after birth?
A: If intended parents cannot obtain a pre-birth order, they will likely need to complete an adoption after birth to establish their parental rights in a Kentucky surrogacy. As mentioned, this may be necessary in cases where intended parents are unmarried, use a gamete donation or are otherwise not genetically related to their child born via surrogacy.
Q: Does Kentucky allow second-parent adoptions? Who would need to complete a second-parent adoption vs. a stepparent adoption (if applicable)?
A: Because of the rapidly changing laws and policies regarding same-sex surrogacy and adoption in Kentucky, we encourage LGBT intended parents to contact a local surrogacy attorney in Kentucky to determine whether a second-parent adoption is possible for them.
Married couples can certainly complete a stepparent adoption in Kentucky, if their surrogacy situation requires it.
Q: What happens in cases where intended parents use a donor egg, sperm or embryo?
A: As mentioned, if intended parents use a donated gamete in their surrogacy, they may or may not be able to obtain a pre-birth order for both members of the couple. An intended parent who is not genetically related to their child born via surrogacy in Kentucky may need to complete an adoption after birth to establish their parental rights.
Q: Are there any additional laws impacting same-sex surrogacy in Kentucky?
A: No. There are no laws regarding surrogacy in Kentucky, so there are no particular laws that apply to LGBT intended parents that do not apply to straight intended parents. The federal marriage equality ruling in 2015 deemed the state’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional so, in theory, all same-sex intended parents pursuing surrogacy should receive the same legal treatment as opposite-sex intended parents.
However, please speak with a Kentucky surrogacy attorney to learn more about this issue.
If you are interested in surrogacy in Kentucky or elsewhere in the United States, American Surrogacy can provide the expert case management and support services you need to have a successful surrogacy journey. Whether you are an intended parent or surrogate in Kentucky, we can guide you through every step of your personal surrogacy process.
To learn more about our agency program today, please call 1-800-875-2229(BABY).
While American Surrogacy has made every effort to present the most updated and accurate information about surrogacy in Kentucky, surrogacy laws are always subject to change. This article should not be taken as legal advice; instead, please contact a surrogacy attorney in Kentucky to learn more about the current state of surrogacy in Kentucky.