An introduction to the laws of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) in the State of Maryland
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 Maryland 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 MD.
Key Questions on ART Laws in Maryland
Generally, is Maryland friendly to ART? Yes, Maryland is very ART friendly.
Is Maryland friendly to non-married couples? Yes, Maryland is friendly to non-married couples.
Is Maryland friendly to LGBT families? Yes, Maryland is friendly to LGBTQ families.
Is Maryland friendly to a single intended parent? Yes, Maryland is friendly to a single intended parent.
Are there statutes in place for surrogacy? No, Maryland does not have a statute regarding surrogacy.
Does Maryland have an embryo donation statute? Indirectly, Maryland addresses embryo donation.
Does Maryland have an egg donation statute? Indirectly, Maryland addresses egg donation.
Is gestational surrogacy (third party gamete use) permitted? Yes, Maryland permits gestational surrogacy, no matter whose gametes are used, including donor sperm, eggs or embryos.
Is traditional surrogacy (use of the surrogate’s genetic material) permitted? It is permitted in Maryland, but may be legally risky. There will need to be a second-parent or step-parent adoption to terminate the rights of the surrogate and to establish parentage for any spouse of the biological father.
Is compensated (paid) gestational surrogacy allowed by statute? There is no Maryland statute directly on point. In practice? Yes, Maryland allows paid gestational surrogacy, but it is not statutory.
Is uncompensated (expense reimbursement only) surrogacy allowed by statute? Not by Maryland statute but in practice, Maryland allows expense reimbursement for any gestational surrogacy.
Does Maryland only permit a Carrier to be reimbursed for expenses (altruistic)? No, Maryland permits expenses and fees to be reimbursed and paid.
Are surrogacy agreements enforceable, void or prohibited? Maryland surrogacy agreements can be enforced in Maryland. There is no statutory mechanism guaranteeing enforceability; however, gestational surrogacy has been practiced in Maryland for a number of decades with the courts upholding the agreements.
Do both Intended Parents both have to be genetically related to the child? No, Maryland permits the use of any gametes.
Does Maryland require at least one Intended Parent to be genetically related to the child? No, Maryland does not require that an Intended Parent be genetically related to the child.
If a single intended parent uses surrogacy, do they have to be genetically related to the child? No, a single parent does not have to be genetically related to the child in a gestational surrogacy.
Do the Intended Parents have to be married? No, Maryland does not require intended parents to be married.
Do two Intended Parents have to be opposite genders? No. Maryland will not discriminate with respect to intended parents’ gender in gestational surrogacy cases.
Does Maryland allow pre-birth parentage orders to be issued for surrogacy? Yes, Maryland allows a pre-birth parentage process for gestational surrogacy.
Does Maryland only allow a post-birth parentage order to be issued? No. Maryland routinely issues pre-birth orders in gestational surrogacy cases.
Can you obtain both a pre and post birth order in Maryland for the same child? Yes. Generally, in Maryland a pre-birth order is entered following a petition to the court. A post-birth order may also be issued if requested in the same case.
Can you obtain a parentage order if only the carrier resides in Maryland? Yes, you may obtain a parentage order if only the gestational surrogate resides in Maryland.
Can you obtain a parentage order if only the intended parents reside in Maryland? Yes, you may obtain a parentage order if only the intended parents reside in Maryland.
Can you obtain a parentage order if only the birth occurs in Maryland? After the birth, yes. Before the birth, while historically this has not been an issue, in Maryland it may depend on the judge. The judge may require the birth to actually take place first, and then will issue the Order.
Can you obtain a parentage order if only the medical procedures/IVF Clinic is in Maryland? No. You cannot obtain a parentage order in Maryland if only the medical procedures/IVF Clinic is/are in Maryland.
What is the basis for venue in Maryland? Either residency and/or birth is the venue for Maryland.
Do results vary by venue? No, the results are the same uniformly in Maryland.
Is a hearing required for a parentage order? Maryland does not usually require a hearing for parentage.
Does Maryland have a passport office? Maryland does not have a passport office; however, but there is one nearby in Washington, DC.
How long does it take to obtain a birth certificate? You should expect the Maryland birth certificate in one month post-delivery, but it may be issued faster, especially if parents are able to go in person to obtain it.
Will your vital records honor a parentage order from another state? Yes, usually Maryland will honor an out of state parentage order.
Does Maryland’s vital records office require a parentage order from another state to be registered? Yes.
How does the birth certificate list same-sex parents? Maryland birth certificates will list parents as Parent and Parent
Can an initial birth certificate be obtained naming the biological parent and the carrier? Yes, if explained in the Petition to the Maryland court with a request to modify the Maryland birth certificate later on.
Can the birth certificate be amended to include only the biological parent or both intended parents? Yes, the Maryland birth certificate can be amended to include only the biological parent or both intended parents.
Do your amended birth certificates say “amended” on them? No. The Maryland birth certificate does not say amended on it.
Can intended parents in a surrogacy obtain an adoption order? Yes, in Maryland, intended parents may obtain an adoption order in addition to the parentage order by initiating a separate court process.
Assisted Reproduction law and surrogacy involves many complex issues. Parties who are contemplating engaging in a surrogacy arrangement in the State of Maryland should not rely exclusively on these printed responses. All these issues should be discussed with a Maryland 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.