An introduction to the laws of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) in the State of California
Whether you are considering becoming a donor or surrogate or you are a prospective intended parent, knowledge is power. To help in your family journey, experienced ART attorneys licensed in California and fellows of The Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (AAAA) share expertise and provide an introduction to the laws of Assisted Reproduction Technology in CA.
Key Questions on ART Laws in California
Generally, is California friendly to ART? Yes
Is California friendly to non-married couples? Yes
Is California friendly to LGBT families? Yes
Is California friendly to a single intended parent? Yes
Are there statutes in place for surrogacy in California? Yes, for Gestational Surrogacy but not for Traditional Surrogacy.
Does California have an embryo donation statute? No, California does not have an embryo donation statute, but they use their sperm, egg and organ donation statutes.
Does California have an egg donation statute? Yes
Is gestational surrogacy (third party gamete use) permitted in California? Yes
Is traditional surrogacy (use of the surrogate’s genetic material) permitted in California? Yes
In California, is compensated surrogacy allowed by statute? Yes In practice? Yes
In California is uncompensated (expense reimbursement only) surrogacy allowed by statute? Yes In practice? Yes
Does California only permit a Carrier to be reimbursed for expenses? No
Are surrogacy agreements enforceable, void or prohibited in California? Enforceable by statute for gestational surrogacy.
In California, do both Intended Parents both have to be genetically related to the child? No
Does California require at least one Intended Parent to be genetically related to the child? No
In California, if a single intended parent uses surrogacy, do they have to be genetically related to the child? No
Do the Intended Parents have to be married in California? No
Do two Intended Parents have to be opposite genders in California? No
Does California allow pre-birth parentage orders to be issued for surrogacy? Yes
Does California only allow a post-birth parentage order to be issued? Yes
Can you obtain both a pre and post birth order in California for the same child? Yes
Can you obtain a parentage order if only the carrier resides in California? Yes
Can you obtain a parentage order if only the intended parents reside in California? Yes
Can you obtain a parentage order if only the birth occurs in California? Yes, but possibly only post-birth
Can you obtain a parentage order if only the medical procedures/IVF Clinic is in California? Yes
What is the basis for venue in California? The basis for venue in California for surrogacy are any of the following: county of the child’s birthplace, county of the Intended Parent’s residence, county of the Gestational Surrogate’s residence, County where the surrogacy agreement was executed, or county where the medical procedures pursuant to the surrogacy agreement are performed.
Do results vary by venue? Yes
Is a hearing required for a parentage order in California? Generally, not.
Does California have a passport office? Yes, California has 3 Regional Passport Offices.
How long does it take to obtain a birth certificate in California? Depends on the County but usually 5-10 days.
Will your vital records honor a parentage order from another state? Yes
Does California’s vital records office require a parentage order from another state to be registered? No
How does the birth certificate list same-sex parents in California? “Parent/Parent” or “Mother/Mother” or “Father/Father” (whatever the IPs choose)
Can an initial birth certificate be obtained naming the biological parent and the carrier in California? Possibly
In California, can the birth certificate be amended to include only the biological parent or both intended parents? Yes
Do your amended birth certificates say “amended” on them? No
Can intended parents in a surrogacy obtain an adoption order in California? Yes
Assisted Reproduction law and surrogacy involves many complex issues. Parties who are contemplating engaging in a surrogacy arrangement in the State of California should not rely exclusively on these printed responses. All these issues should be discussed with a California ART attorney who is experienced in surrogacy law. Answers to these questions will be impacted by numerous circumstances that are unique to your surrogacy arrangement.