Surrogacy in Texas

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The Texas Family Code permits gestational surrogacy arrangements and sets forth the requirements for a valid and enforceable surrogacy contract. Pursuant to the applicable statutes, a pre-birth order may be granted so long as the gestational carrier agreement is first found to by a Texas court to be in compliance with the statutory requirements and is thereby validated. Although the statute only refers to married Intended Parents, some courts may nevertheless grant pre-birth parentage orders to unmarried Intended Parents, regardless of genetic connection to the child.
 

Texas Surrogacy Laws at a Glance

Pre-Birth Orders Are Granted in Texas for…

QuestionAnswer
Married heterosexual couple using own egg and own spermYES
Married heterosexual couple using an egg donor or sperm donorYES
Married heterosexual couple using both an egg donor and sperm donorYES

 

In Texas there is a Pre-Birth Order and a Post-Birth Order. The Pre-Birth Order is used to create the birth certificate. The Post-Birth Order again establishes parentage and closes and seals the file. All of the answers above apply. If a couple cannot get a Pre-Birth Order because they’re not married, they could petition the court for a Post-Birth Order, but there are risks involved on a case-by-case basis. Otherwise Post-Birth Orders work the same as with Pre-Birth Orders shown above.

Additional Notes on Pre-Birth Orders:

Texas courts grant pre-birth orders so long as it is done pursuant to the statutory validation procedure.

The statute only refers to married couples, but some courts may as well allow unmarried couples to be declared the legal parents of the child if at least one of the Intended Parents is genetically related to the child, whether if it’s a heterosexual or same-sex couple.

If no Intended Parent is genetically related to the child, Texas courts can declare both Intended Parents the legal parents of the child in a pre-birth parentage order as long as it’s a married straight couple. Some courts may allow unmarried straight couples and single parents to be declared the legal parents of the child. Same-sex couples can be declared the legal parents of the child under this circumstances if they’re married.
 

Surrogacy Contracts in Texas

If a surrogacy contract meets all of the requirements set forth by Texas surrogacy laws, it is enforceable in a court of law.
Texas surrogacy laws outline the aspects that must be included in a surrogacy contract. It requires that the intended parents, any donors, a gestational surrogate and her spouse (if married) be a party to the legal agreement.
This contract must be a gestational surrogacy agreement and be completed at least two weeks before the embryo transfer process. However, as mentioned, this contract is also frequently approved during the parentage declaration process.
During the drafting of this document, each party will be informed of the potential risks and complications, as well as the rights and expectations they have during their Texas surrogacy process.
The contract will be presented before a Texas surrogacy court, which will validate the agreement if:

  • The intended parents have completed a home study
  • The surrogate has undergone at least one previous pregnancy and is medically capable of carrying another
  • The parties have adequately described who will be responsible for the expenses of the process
  • An intended mother is unable to carry a pregnancy to term (up to court discretion, as not all gestational surrogacies include an intended mother)

If these terms are met, the court will validate the surrogacy contract in Texas and declare the intended parents’ rights to the child born under the agreement.
 

Best Surrogacy Clinics in Texas

There are 39 fertility clinics in Texas currently reporting data about IVF cases. Of these, there are 15 clinics that regularly perform “surrogacy-type” IVF cases. Surrogacy cases are those using a donor egg and frozen embryo transfers, which is the most common procedure in a surrogacy journey.

The top IVF clinics in Texas have an average success rate of about 46.4% for each embryo transfer. That compares with 46.5% as the national average, which makes Texas a reasonable destination for a surrogacy journey in the United States.

Of the clinics performing surrogacy-type services, 8 report live-birth rates above the national average. They are: