What You Need to Know About Surrogacy in Louisiana

What You Need to Know About Surrogacy in Louisiana

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Louisiana Surrogacy Laws and Information

Surrogacy in Louisiana is a highly regulated and restricted family-building process for intended parents and surrogates in this state. Per state laws, surrogacy in Louisiana is only available to married heterosexual intended parents who complete an altruistic surrogacy with a local surrogate in Louisiana.

Because of these restrictions, many national surrogacy professionals would encourage intended parents to work in a state other than Louisiana to build their family. Those who wish to complete a surrogacy in Louisiana — whether as an intended parent or a prospective surrogate — should make sure to work with an experienced surrogacy attorney in Louisiana from the start of their journey. Only this way can you obtain the legal protection you need for the complicated surrogacy process in this state.

It’s always important to understand the surrogacy laws in Louisiana before choosing this path. Below, you’ll find some basic information on these legal regulations to help you learn more.

Q: Is surrogacy legal in Louisiana?

A: A new bill was passed in 2016 regulating surrogacy in Louisiana. The new surrogacy laws in Louisiana make gestational surrogacy legal but only for Louisiana resident parties who have both used their gametes in the surrogacy process. So, while surrogacy in Louisiana is legal for some parties, it is a difficult process for many intended parents and surrogates, especially any surrogacy in which a donor sperm, egg or embryo will be used.

Q: Is compensated surrogacy legal in Louisiana?

A: No. The 2016 gestational surrogacy law in Louisiana also forbids surrogate compensation.

Q: Is traditional surrogacy legal in Louisiana?

A: No. Traditional surrogacy is illegal in Louisiana, per the 2016 surrogacy law: “A contract for a genetic gestational carrier shall be absolutely null.”

Q: What does a surrogacy agreement in Louisiana cover, and how does the legal process work?

A:  Louisiana surrogacy laws strictly regulate the creation of surrogacy contracts in this state. In order for a surrogacy contract to be enforceable in a court of law, it must:

  • Be signed by the intended parents, the surrogate and her spouse (if applicable)
  • Be approved by a court before the medical process of surrogacy begins
  • Be altruistic in nature
  • Not require a surrogate to terminate a pregnancy for any reason, including “an actual or potential disability, impairment, genetic variation, or any other health condition or a discrimination based on gender, or for the purposes of the reduction of multiple fetuses”

In addition, the parties to a Louisiana surrogacy contract must meet specific requirements, as well:

  • Surrogates
    • Be between the ages of 25–35
    • Have given birth to at least one child
    • Agree to become pregnant with the intended parents’ gametes via embryo transfer
    • Have undergone two counseling sessions with a mental health professional prior to executing the contract
    • Agree to attend a minimum of one post-birth counseling session
  • Intended Parents
    • Acknowledge that the surrogate has sole authority with respect medical decision-making, consistent with the rights of a pregnant woman carrying her own child
    • Have a valid will or succession plan
    • Prove that the intended mother has “medical necessity” to pursue surrogacy rather than traditional reproductive methods

In addition, each party must have resided in Louisiana for at least 180 days prior to the execution of a surrogacy contract.

Q: Are surrogacy contracts (whether compensated or altruistic) enforceable in Louisiana?

A: If a Louisiana surrogacy contract meets all of the requirements stated in the state surrogacy law, the contract is enforceable.

Q: What are the surrogacy laws in Louisiana on parentage orders?

A: Because of Louisiana surrogacy laws, only a married, heterosexual couple of intended parents using their own sperm and egg can obtain a pre-birth parentage order in Louisiana. Intended parents in any other situation (whether unmarried or using a donor gamete) cannot obtain a pre-birth or post-birth parentage order in this state.

Q: Are there any particular laws for parents outside the U.S. who complete a surrogacy in Louisiana?

A: Because Louisiana surrogacy contracts can only be created between two residents of the state, international intended parents cannot complete a surrogacy in Louisiana.

Q: When do intended parents need to complete an adoption after birth? 

A: Any intended parent who uses a donor gamete in their Louisiana surrogacy or who is unmarried must complete an adoption after birth. Intended parents must be present at a hearing in order to obtain a post-birth adoption order.

Louisiana Vital Records will not honor a pre-birth order from another state, for intended parents who complete a surrogacy outside of Louisiana.

Q: Does Louisiana allow second-parent adoptions? Who would need to complete a second-parent adoption vs. a stepparent adoption (if applicable)?

A: No. Louisiana adoption laws require that couples be married to adopt jointly. Therefore, only stepparent adoptions are available in Louisiana. Unmarried intended parents will not be able to establish parental rights to their child through an adoption in this state.

Q: If intended parents cannot complete a second-parent adoption, how can unmarried non-biological intended parents protect their parental rights?

A: If you are a member of an unmarried intended parent couple, you will likely be unable to complete a surrogacy in Louisiana — as you will be unable to complete a second-parent adoption after your child is born. You may be able to complete a surrogacy in another state, obtain a proper adoption order there, and then return to your home state. However, please speak with a local surrogacy attorney in Louisiana to learn more this process.

Q: What happens in cases where intended parents use a donor egg, sperm or embryo?

A: The 2016 Louisiana surrogacy bill makes it impossible for intended parents to complete a surrogacy in this state without using their own gametes. Therefore, same-sex couples and individuals (as well as heterosexual couples who need a donor gamete) cannot complete a surrogacy in Louisiana.

Any surrogacy contract that involves the use of a donor gamete is unlawful in this state, and the parties can be subject to fines and imprisonment.

Q: Are there any additional laws impacting same-sex surrogacy in Louisiana?

A: The surrogacy laws in Louisiana make it illegal for LGBT intended parents to enter into a surrogacy contract because they cannot provide both sperm and egg cells for conception.

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At American Surrogacy, we recommend that intended parents in Louisiana choose a surrogate from another more surrogacy-friendly state for a safer surrogacy process. Our surrogacy specialists can help you find the perfect surrogate for your surrogacy goals and preferences and guide you through the surrogacy process in another state.

At this time, our agency program does not accept prospective surrogates from Louisiana.

To learn more about our national agency program, please call 1-800-875-2229(BABY) today.

Surrogacy laws in Louisiana are always subject to change. This article is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice. Please contact a local surrogacy attorney in Louisiana with any questions you have about the surrogacy process in this state.