If you are considering a surrogacy in Mississippi — whether as an intended parent or a prospective surrogate — it’s important that you fully understand the legal situation and the practical process ahead of you before starting.
Like many states, Mississippi has no surrogacy laws regulating this family-building process. However, that doesn’t mean surrogacy is impossible in this state. In fact, many intended parents and surrogates are able to complete this journey here — as long as they work closely with experienced surrogacy professionals every step of the way.
American Surrogacy can always serve as your surrogacy agency during this life-changing process, and our specialists will always help you find a trusted surrogacy attorney in Mississippi to represent you. While an attorney can provide the best information about the current surrogacy laws in Mississippi, you can also find some basic information below.
Q: Is surrogacy legal in Mississippi?
A: Like many states, Mississippi has no laws regulating surrogacy. Because of this, the availability of surrogacy in Mississippi varies greatly.
In general, courts in the state are more favorable to married couples with at least one partner who is genetically related to the child born via surrogacy. However, like in many states, the rulings on individual surrogacy cases will be determined by the court and the judge overseeing the case. Speak with a local surrogacy attorney in Mississippi to learn more about what the legal process will look like in the county where you live.
Q: Is compensated surrogacy legal in Mississippi?
A: Yes. There are no surrogacy laws in Mississippi prohibiting the practice of commercial surrogacy.
Q: Is traditional surrogacy legal in Mississippi?
A: Yes, as there are no surrogacy laws in Mississippi prohibiting the practice of traditional surrogacy.
Q: What does a surrogacy agreement in Mississippi cover, and how does the legal process work?
A: Mississippi surrogacy contracts, while not regulated by state laws, must address all potential aspects of the surrogacy journey to protect the interests of both parties involved. While there are no state regulations on this process, Mississippi surrogacy attorneys follow a common process to create documents that are as legally sound as possible.
Intended parents and surrogate must be represented by separate surrogacy attorneys during this legal process. That way, they can fairly negotiate each party’s terms and expectations to ensure each party is comfortable with the final legal document. These terms often include:
- Surrogate compensation and other financial information
- Agreement on sensitive issues, like selective reduction and termination
- Contact expectations before, during and after the surrogacy
- Plans for the hospital delivery
- Each party’s responsibilities during the pregnancy
- And more
Working with an experienced surrogacy attorney will ensure that all potential risks and liabilities are also addressed in the surrogacy contract — and that you and your surrogacy partner are embarking on a safe family-building journey.
Q: Are surrogacy contracts (whether compensated or altruistic) enforceable in Mississippi?
A: There are, as of yet, no laws regarding whether Mississippi surrogacy contracts are enforceable. Please speak with a local surrogacy attorney to learn more about this legal issue.
Q: What are the surrogacy laws in Mississippi on parentage orders?
A: In general, Mississippi surrogacy courts do grant pre-birth orders, although their availability is often based on the judge overseeing the surrogacy case. Because the state tends to favor heterosexual couples, straight couples can usually obtain a pre-birth order, regardless of their marital status or whether they use a donated gamete.
LGBT intended parents may have a more difficult time establishing their parental rights in a Mississippi surrogacy, but it’s likely that they can also obtain a pre-birth order, no matter their marital status. As always, please speak with a local surrogacy attorney for guidance through your particular situation.
Q: Are there any particular laws for parents outside the U.S. who complete a surrogacy in Mississippi?
A: No. For all intents and purposes, international intended parents are treated the same as domestic intended parents in Mississippi surrogacy, as there are no state surrogacy laws that indicate otherwise.
Q: When do intended parents need to complete an adoption after birth?
A: In most Mississippi surrogacies, intended parents will not need to complete an adoption after birth, as they’ll be able to obtain a pre-birth order. However, if the overseeing court will not grant a pre- or post-birth parentage order, an adoption will typically be necessary after the baby is born.
This would most likely be the case in a Mississippi surrogacy if a traditional surrogacy takes place, or if neither intended parent is genetically related to the child born via surrogacy.
Q: Does Mississippi allow second-parent adoptions? Who would need to complete a second-parent adoption vs. a stepparent adoption (if applicable)?
A: No. Only a married couple or a single person can adopt in Mississippi. Therefore, if intended parents cannot obtain a pre- or post-birth parentage order, they would have to be married to complete a stepparent adoption.
Q: If intended parents cannot complete a second parent adoption, how can unmarried non-biological intended parents protect their parental rights?
A: They will usually need to get married and complete a stepparent adoption. However, there may be the option of completing a second-parent adoption in another state and returning to Mississippi for an amended birth certificate. A surrogacy attorney in Mississippi can walk you through whatever legal processes are necessary in your situation.
Q: What happens in cases where intended parents use a donor egg, sperm or embryo?
A: In theory, there should be no additional legal steps for intended parents who use a donated gamete in their Mississippi surrogacy. However, some judges may not allow these intended parents to obtain a pre- or post-birth order. An adoption may be necessary.
There are also no published state statutes regarding the parental rights of donors, although gamete banks will require donors to consent to the termination of their parental rights prior to donating.
Q: Are there any additional laws impacting same-sex surrogacy in Mississippi?
A: In theory, no. There are no surrogacy laws in Mississippi that specifically apply to LGBT intended parents, but certain judges and courts may require additional legal steps to establish parental rights in a same-sex surrogacy.
Whether you are ready to start your surrogacy in Mississippi or are still trying to decide if surrogacy is right for you, American Surrogacy can help. Our surrogacy specialists will answer whatever questions you have about the surrogacy process and our agency program to help you prepare for this complicated but rewarding process.
To learn more about our agency program, including the case management and support services we provide, please contact us today at 1-800-875-2229(BABY).
This article is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice. Surrogacy laws in Mississippi are always subject to change, so please contact a local Mississippi surrogacy attorney to learn more about the current state of surrogacy in Mississippi.