What You Need to Know About Surrogacy in Pennsylvania

What You Need to Know About Surrogacy in Pennsylvania

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Pennsylvania Surrogacy Laws

If you’re reading this article, you may be wondering: Is surrogacy legal in Pennsylvania? What are the laws about surrogacy in Pennsylvania?

Although there are no surrogacy laws in Pennsylvania, the surrogacy process in this state is a fairly easy, safe and efficient one to complete, as long as you have experienced surrogacy professionals assisting you every step of the way. The surrogacy specialists at American Surrogacy can always help you complete your Pennsylvania surrogacy, and we’ll work closely with your local surrogacy attorney to ensure your rights and interests are protected every step along the way.

Learning more about the surrogacy process is always the first step you should take before committing to a surrogacy in Pennsylvania. While our specialists are always happy to discuss how surrogacy works with our agency, we know you may have specific questions about the surrogacy laws in Pennsylvania. Below, you’ll find some basic information to help you get started.

Q: Is surrogacy legal in Pennsylvania?

A: There are currently no surrogacy laws in Pennsylvania governing the practice. However, a case in 2006 set a standard for surrogacy in Pennsylvania when a higher court overturned a lower court’s ruling that surrogacy agreements were contrary to public policy and that a gestational surrogate was the mother of a child born via surrogacy.  This ruling made it legal for surrogacy to be practiced in Pennsylvania, and it continues to be a popular way of growing families in this state.

While surrogacy is legal in Pennsylvania in practice, remember that what your individual surrogacy process will look like will always depend upon your personal circumstances and the judge overseeing the case.

Q: Is compensated surrogacy legal in Pennsylvania?

A: Yes, surrogates can be compensated for their services in Pennsylvania.

Q: Is traditional surrogacy legal in Pennsylvania?

A: There are no published cases or state statutes prohibiting traditional surrogacy in Pennsylvania, so this process is legal. However, a traditional surrogacy is treated as an adoption under Pennsylvania law, which means pre-birth orders cannot be completed and a surrogate cannot be compensated for her services.

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

A: A surrogacy agreement in Pennsylvania is like a surrogacy contract in any other state. This legal document addresses all potential risks and liabilities of the surrogacy process, as well as expectations and responsibilities for both parties of the surrogacy.

Both intended parents and prospective surrogates will need to work with separate surrogacy attorneys in Pennsylvania to draft this document, which will cover things like:

  • Surrogate compensation
  • A surrogate’s health and prenatal care during pregnancy
  • Agreement on sensitive issues, such as termination
  • Social information and contact expectations
  • Steps to establish the intended parents’ rights
  • And more

Once both intended parents and surrogate are comfortable with the terms of the surrogacy contract, it will be finalized and signed. After that, the medical process of surrogacy will begin.

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

A: Yes, surrogacy contracts are enforceable in a court of law in Pennsylvania.

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

A: The availability of parentage orders for intended parents will vary based on the judge requested to issue the order. In practice, more progressive judges will grant parentage declarations before birth to married couples, unmarried couples and individuals, even if they have no genetic link to the child being born via surrogacy. However, some more conservative judges will not grant parentage declarations.

Speak with a Pennsylvania surrogacy attorney to learn what options may be available in your particular surrogacy situation.

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

A: No. Any laws that apply to intended parents who live in the United States will similarly apply to international intended parents completing a surrogacy in Pennsylvania.

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

A: If a parentage order cannot be issued, intended parents will likely need to complete an adoption to establish their parental rights to their baby. A surrogacy attorney can best explain what steps are necessary for your situation.

The Pennsylvania adoption statute provides for the post-birth adoption of a child born through surrogacy in the county of the intended parents’ domicile, but this is applicable only to Pennsylvania residents. If you are completing an adoption after a traditional surrogacy, the Pennsylvania adoption laws regarding consent and payment of living expenses will apply.

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

A: Yes, second-parent adoptions are legal in Pennsylvania for unmarried couples. If you are married, you can complete a quicker adoption process with a stepparent adoption.

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

A: If intended parents use an anonymous egg, sperm or embryo donation, the donor’s parental rights do not need to be legally terminated. However, if Pennsylvania intended parents use a known donor, they will need to work with a Pennsylvania surrogacy attorney to create a donor contract that outlines expectations and responsibilities and terminate the rights of the egg, sperm or embryo donor.

The use of a donor gamete may also affect the steps intended parents are required to take to establish their parental rights.

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

A: No, although it is always advised that LGBT couples pursuing surrogacy in Pennsylvania work with an experienced professional from the beginning of the process to understand the legal steps that will need to be taken in their surrogacy journey.

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If you are considering surrogacy in Pennsylvania, know that you have a clear and legal path ahead of you, whether you’re an intended parent or prospective surrogate. With the assistance of a local surrogacy attorney and a surrogacy agency like American Surrogacy, you can make your surrogacy dreams come true.

Our surrogacy specialists are always happy to help you obtain your surrogacy goals through a process that meets your needs and preferences. Our surrogacy program will provide the guidance and support you need, no matter where you decide to complete your surrogacy in the United States.

To learn more about American Surrogacy’s services, please call our agency at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) or contact us online.

While American Surrogacy has made every effort to include accurate and updated information in this article, surrogacy laws are always subject to change. This content should not be taken as legal advice; we encourage you to reach out to a local Pennsylvania surrogacy attorney for the most recent developments in Pennsylvania surrogacy laws.