Pennsylvania Surrogacy

Pennsylvania does not have a statute in place as it relates to surrogacy, however, case law has upheld a surrogacy contract. There are two types of surrogacy. A traditional surrogacy is where the carrier has a genetic relationship with the child. For example, the carrier’s eggs are used along with a sperm donor. A gestational surrogacy is where the carrier has no genetic relationship. With a gestational surrogacy both the egg and sperm are implanted into the carrier. In J.F. v. D.B., the carrier mother attempted to keep the children following birth despite having entered a surrogacy agreement. 897 A.2d 1261 (2006). The court eventually held she didn’t have standing for a custody action and turned the children over to the intended parents per the contract. The courts went a step further in In re Baby S, when it explicitly upheld a surrogacy agreement. 2015 Pa. Super. 244 (2015).

Pennsylvania also allows for the intended parents to get a pre-birth order to have their names listed on the birth certificate as parents. This procedure is the Assisted Conception Birth Registration. This procedure is available when both intended parents are related to the child (e.g. gestational surrogacy). It requires the intended parents to file a petition with the court to get an order as well as the submission of a Report of Assisted Conception. The Department of Health oversees the procedure. The benefit of this procedure is that it alleviates the need for adoption proceedings. If the intended parents do not meet the criteria for an Assisted Conception Birth Registration, adoption is still an alternate method to establish legal parentage.

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