What You Need to Know About Surrogacy in Utah

What You Need to Know About Surrogacy in Utah

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Utah Surrogacy Laws and Information

Surrogacy in Utah is a complicated family-building process. While Utah surrogacy laws provide paths for all surrogates and married intended parents to successfully reach their surrogacy goals, the legal guidelines for single intended parents and unmarried intended parent couples is more difficult.

Whether you are married or unmarried, it’s always important to speak with a local surrogacy attorney in Utah before deciding that this family-building path is right for you. Only an experienced lawyer can explain exactly how the surrogacy laws in Utah will affect your ability to become a surrogate or have a child via surrogacy with your particular circumstances.

At American Surrogacy, our surrogacy specialists can always refer you to a trusted local surrogacy attorney, as well as answer any questions you have about the general process of surrogacy. To start, find answers to your questions about surrogacy laws in Utah below.

Q: Is surrogacy legal in Utah?

A: In Utah, gestational surrogacy is legal but only for married couples, as stated in a 2008 statute. If you are an individual or unmarried couple thinking about pursuing surrogacy to build your family, speak with an experienced Utah surrogacy attorney to learn more about what options are available to you.

Q: Is compensated surrogacy legal in Utah?

A: Yes. Paying a gestational surrogate a base compensation in a Utah surrogacy is addressed in state laws and is a legal possibility.

Q: Is traditional surrogacy legal in Utah?

A: Utah surrogacy laws specifically state that a surrogate’s eggs “may not be used in the assisted reproduction procedure.” However, the process in and of itself is not specifically outlawed in Utah, just any protections provided under gestational surrogacy laws.

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

A: Utah surrogacy laws specify that intended parents, any donors, a surrogate and her husband (if married) can enter into a gestational surrogacy agreement in this state. These laws also set requirements for parties participating in a Utah surrogacy:

  • Intended Parents
  • Surrogates
    • Not be receiving state assistance
    • Be 21 years of age or older
    • Be a gestational surrogate, only
    • If married, her husband’s sperm cannot be used in the embryo
    • Participate in mental health counseling prior to the contract
    • Have had at least one pregnancy and delivery and be medically capable of carrying another

Once a court approves the terms of the gestational surrogacy contract, it is enforceable in a court of law.

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

A: Yes, as long as the Utah surrogacy contract meets the requirements stated above.

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

A: Once a surrogacy contract is approved (before the baby is born), Utah surrogacy courts will issue a pre-birth parentage order that allows for the intended parents’ names to be placed on the birth certificate. These orders are issued even for married couples who have used donor gametes in their embryo. However, parentage orders are generally not issued to unmarried couples or individuals.

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

A:  No. International intended parents are subject to the same Utah surrogacy laws as domestic intended parents, as well as any federal immigration laws for returning to their home country after their child is born.

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

A: Any unmarried intended parents or single intended parent pursuing a surrogacy in Utah would need to complete an adoption after birth, as the Utah surrogacy laws only apply to married intended parents. We encourage intended parents in this situation to speak with a Utah surrogacy lawyer to determine whether Utah is the best location to pursue your surrogacy journey, as there are particular adoption laws in Utah that may make this process complicated.

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

A: No, Utah does not allow for second-parent adoptions. Only married couples or single individuals (but only as a second priority) can adopt in Utah.

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

A: Utah surrogacy laws and adoption laws make it fairly complicated for unmarried couples of intended parents to establish their parental rights to a child born via surrogacy in Utah. Therefore, these couples must either get married in Utah before they begin their surrogacy journey or after to complete a stepparent adoption, or they must choose to complete their surrogacy in another state where they can obtain a pre- or post-birth parentage order.

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

A: As long as intended parents who use a donor gamete are married, they can still obtain a pre-birth order, regardless of their genetic connection to their child. However, any single or unmarried intended parents using a donor gamete cannot obtain a parentage order in Utah because of their marital status.

While there are state laws that specify a donor is not a parent of a child conceived via ART methods, unmarried intended parents will still need to take additional legal steps to establish their parental rights.

Intended parents who use a donor embryo are not protected by gestational surrogacy laws in Utah. However, some courts will still issue a pre-birth order to a married heterosexual or same-sex couple pursuing this kind of surrogacy.

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

A: No. While LGBT intended parents were previously barred from surrogacy in this state because of marital requirements, the federal marriage equality ruling means that all married LGBT intended parents have the same rights under Utah surrogacy laws as heterosexual intended parents.

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If you are considering surrogacy in Utah, know that unless you are a married intended parent, your surrogacy process may be a bit more complicated than in another more surrogacy-friendly state in the U.S.

Whether you are married or unmarried, American Surrogacy can help you achieve your surrogacy dreams. Our specialists can discuss your surrogacy situation with you and help you find the perfect surrogacy solution for your wants and needs, whether that ends up being a surrogacy in Utah or elsewhere in the United States.

To learn more about the services we can offer as part of our agency program, please call 1-800-875-2229(BABY) today.

This article is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice. Surrogacy laws in Utah are always subject to change, and American Surrogacy makes no guarantee the information presented herein is accurate. Please contact a local Utah surrogacy attorney for legal guidance on the current state of surrogacy in Utah.