If you’re considering a surrogacy in Michigan, it’s critically important that you understand and recognize how the surrogacy laws in Michigan will impact — and likely limit — your ability to reach your surrogacy goals in this state.
Unfortunately, the surrogacy laws in Michigan make compensated surrogacy completely illegal for surrogates and intended parents. While altruistic surrogacies are not prohibited by state statute, the contracts drawn up for these processes are not enforceable. Therefore, there is always a legal risk involved in Michigan surrogacy.
While these laws on surrogacy in Michigan can seem intimidating, know that you still have the option of surrogacy as a family-building method if you live in Michigan. When you work with an experienced surrogacy agency like American Surrogacy, you can be matched with a surrogate in a state that is more welcoming to the surrogacy process, allowing you to create the family you’ve always wanted.
To better understand the limitations involved with surrogacy in Michigan and why it’s advised against, we’ve laid out some of the important laws to know in this state, provided by surrogacy attorney Dion Roddy.
Q: Is surrogacy legal in Michigan?
A: According to the Michigan Surrogate Parenting Act, “A person shall not enter into, induce, arrange, procure, or otherwise assist in the formation of a surrogate parentage contract for compensation.” Any such contract is void and unenforceable as contrary to Michigan public policy. However, uncompensated, or “compassionate,” surrogacy is permitted in Michigan.
Q: Is compensated surrogacy legal in Michigan?
A: No. See answer to previous question. Any surrogacy in Michigan must be altruistic and, therefore, the process is usually only completed between close friends and family members.
Q: Is traditional surrogacy legal in Michigan?
A: No. In addition to traditional surrogacy in Michigan being illegal, the process also would involve many potentially serious complications because of a surrogate’s genetic relationship to the child. That’s why many surrogacy professionals across the United States today will only complete gestational surrogacies.
Q: What does a surrogacy agreement in Michigan cover, and how does the legal process work?
A: Surrogacy contracts in Michigan are void and unenforceable as contrary to public policy.
Q: Are surrogacy contracts (whether compensated or altruistic) enforceable in Michigan?
A: No. If you enter into a surrogacy contract in Michigan, your surrogacy process will be based entirely on good faith and trust in your surrogacy partner.
Q: What are the surrogacy laws in Michigan on parentage orders?
A: There are no specific laws addressing parentage orders in Michigan. Courts will generally enter a pre-birth order for married intended parents where at least one parent is genetically related to the resulting child.
Q: Are there any particular laws for parents outside the U.S. who complete a surrogacy in Michigan?
A: There are no particular laws that address non-citizens completing a surrogacy in Michigan. However, because of the limitations on surrogacy in Michigan in general, it’s advised that international parents pursue a surrogacy in another state to protect their rights and interests.
Q: When do intended parents need to complete an adoption after birth?
A: If a pre-birth order is not entered or cannot be entered, then the intended parents must commence an adoption in order to obtain parental rights and custody. These instances may include situations where only one intended parent is genetically related to the resulting child or, in the case of a traditional surrogacy, where the surrogate is genetically related to the resulting child.
Q: Does Michigan allow second-parent adoptions? Who would need to complete a second-parent adoption vs. a stepparent adoption (if applicable)?
A: Michigan permits a single person or a married couple to adopt. Two unmarried persons cannot adopt together, as second-parent adoptions are not allowed.
Q: If intended parents cannot complete a second-parent adoption, how can unmarried non-biological intended parents protect their parental rights?
A: Currently there is no protection under Michigan law to protect the parental rights of unmarried couples — another reason why many intended parents choose to pursue surrogacy in another state in the Midwest.
Q: What happens in cases where intended parents use a donor egg, sperm or embryo?
A: The laws regarding use of a donor egg, sperm, or embryo are unsettled in Michigan. At least one of the intended parents must be biologically related to the child to be born in order for the possibility of a pre-birth order to be entered by a Michigan court. Otherwise, the child would need to be adopted by the intended parents in order for full parental rights to be vested in the intended parents.
Q: Are there any additional laws impacting same-sex surrogacy in Michigan?
Because of the restrictions from Michigan’s laws on surrogacy, completing a surrogacy in this state can not only be illegal but can also come with many complications that result in failure to protect the rights of the intended parents and surrogate involved in the process. No matter how committed a surrogate and intended parents are to a surrogacy in Michigan, the process is always a risky one.
To protect the intended parents and surrogates that we work with, American Surrogacy does not accept surrogates in Michigan at the present time. However, we do welcome all intended parents who live in Michigan, as we have many prospective surrogates located in more surrogacy-friendly states who are ready to be matched with you and start your surrogacy process today. By working with our agency and our thoroughly screened surrogates, your parenthood journey can be completed in a much safer and more positive way than it would be through a surrogacy in Michigan.
To learn more about how we can help you meet your surrogacy goals, please contact our surrogacy specialists today at 1-800-875-2229(BABY). No matter your home state’s surrogacy laws, surrogacy is usually always an option through our program.
State law information provided by:
Dion E. Roddy
All information presented in this article is the opinion of the attorney and should not be taken as strict legal advice. Surrogacy laws in Michigan are always subject to change, so American Surrogacy recommends all prospective clients contact a Michigan surrogacy attorney to learn more about the current laws regarding surrogacy in this state.