If you’re considering surrogacy in New Hampshire, know that you’ve chosen one of the best and safest places in the United States to make your family-building dreams come true.
Unlike many states in the U.S., New Hampshire has defined surrogacy laws that protect the parties involved in gestational surrogacy agreements. New Hampshire surrogacy laws are generous rather than restrictive, making legal an assisted reproduction process that has existed for many years in this state.
Intended parents and prospective surrogates should always speak with a local surrogacy attorney in New Hampshire before committing to this life-changing journey, as well as with a surrogacy professional like American Surrogacy. To help you in your research, we’ve answered some of the most common questions about surrogacy in New Hampshire below.
Q: Is surrogacy legal in New Hampshire?
A: Yes. Surrogacy is legal in New Hampshire, thanks to a rewriting of the New Hampshire state laws in 2014. These new surrogacy laws in New Hampshire created regulations for not only the enforceability of surrogacy contracts but also for the surrogacy process as a whole, including new requirements for those involved in the surrogacy process.
Therefore, anyone completing a New Hampshire surrogacy today will have an established legal process to guide them and to protect their rights and interests every step of the way. However, an experienced surrogacy attorney in New Hampshire will also be required, as well.
Q: Is compensated surrogacy legal in New Hampshire?
A: Yes. A surrogate can receive base compensation for her services in a New Hampshire surrogacy.
Q: Is traditional surrogacy legal in New Hampshire?
A: Yes. Traditional surrogacy is not prohibited in New Hampshire, although intended parents who pursue this path will not be able to obtain a pre-birth order to establish their parental rights.
Q: What does a surrogacy agreement in New Hampshire cover, and how does the legal process work?
A: New Hampshire surrogacy laws regulate the process of creating surrogacy contracts that will be enforceable in a court of law. First, the parties involved in a New Hampshire surrogacy must meet certain requirements.
New Hampshire surrogacy laws set certain standards for who can become a surrogate within the state borders. Gestational surrogates must be over 21 years old and have previously given birth. They must also complete a physical and mental health evaluation before a surrogacy contract can be drafted.
Intended parents in New Hampshire must also have undergone a mental health evaluation prior to creating a surrogacy contract.
Once both parties have met these legal requirements, they must be represented by separate surrogacy attorneys in New Hampshire for the drafting of this document. By law, the surrogacy contract must include:
- The surrogate’s consent to undergo embryo transfer, become pregnant, carry the child and surrender parental rights to intended parents
- The surrogate’s spouse’s consent to the surrogacy contract
- The intended parents’ acceptance of parental duties and rights after the child is born
- Any surrogate compensation and other financial information
- Potential risks and responsibilities for each party
- An agreement on pregnancy termination
Only after this contract is finalized and signed can intended parents and their surrogate move forward with the medical process of surrogacy in New Hampshire.
Q: Are surrogacy contracts (whether compensated or altruistic) enforceable in New Hampshire?
A: Yes, as long as a surrogacy contract meets the requirements set forth in New Hampshire surrogacy laws.
Q: What are the surrogacy laws in New Hampshire on parentage orders?
A: Pre-birth orders are granted throughout the state, regardless of the marital status or genetic connection of the intended parents. A petition for a parentage order can be brought to court either before, during or after the pregnancy — but most intended parents will choose to obtain a pre-birth order in a New Hampshire surrogacy. It’s a quick and easy process; no hearing is required as long as state requirements are met regarding affidavits and other official documentation.
As always, you will need to work with a New Hampshire surrogacy attorney to ensure you take the appropriate steps for establishing your parental rights.
Q: Are there any particular laws for parents outside the U.S. who complete a surrogacy in New Hampshire?
A: No. International intended parents are subject to the same New Hampshire surrogacy laws as domestic intended parents.
Q: When do intended parents need to complete an adoption after birth?
A: Because New Hampshire surrogacy courts can grant pre-birth parentage orders to all intended parents, it’s rare that an adoption is needed to establish parental rights. However, if intended parents from New Hampshire complete a surrogacy in another state where they cannot obtain a parentage order, they may need to complete an adoption after their baby is born.
Q: Does New Hampshire allow second-parent adoptions? Who would need to complete a second-parent adoption vs. a stepparent adoption (if applicable)?
A: No, second-parent adoptions are not available in New Hampshire. A Supreme Court ruling in 1987 deemed that couples must be married to adopt 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: While intended parents will typically not need a second-parent adoption in New Hampshire because of the availability of pre-birth orders, any intended parents who do not obtain a pre-birth order will need to be married to complete a stepparent adoption. Otherwise, they may need to complete a second-parent adoption in another state and return to New Hampshire for an updated birth certificate.
As always, please speak with a local surrogacy attorney for more information on what will be required in your situation.
Q: What happens in cases where intended parents use a donor egg, sperm or embryo?
A: Intended parents who use a donor gamete in their New Hampshire surrogacy will likely still be able to obtain a pre-birth parentage order, regardless of marital status. There are usually no additional requirements for intended parents who use a donor gamete in a surrogacy in this state.
In addition, the New Hampshire surrogacy laws specifically state “a donor shall not be the parent of a child conceived as a result of assisted reproduction and a gestational carrier agreement.”
Q: Are there any additional laws impacting same-sex surrogacy in New Hampshire?
A: No. LGBT intended parents are treated equally to heteronormative intended parents under New Hampshire surrogacy laws.
American Surrogacy welcomes intended parents and surrogates from New Hampshire, and our surrogacy specialists stand ready to answer any questions you have and guide you through the process of surrogacy in New Hampshire.
We know how important it is that your personal surrogacy goals and expectations are met, which is why our surrogacy agency provides the case management and support services necessary for you to have as successful a surrogacy journey as possible. To learn more about our national surrogacy program, please call 1-800-875-2229(BABY).
This article is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice. Surrogacy laws in New Hampshire are always subject to change, so American Surrogacy makes no guarantee the information presented in this article is accurate and up-to-date. For legal advice, please contact a local surrogacy attorney in New Hampshire.