Surrogacy in Indiana

Surrogacy in Indiana is against local public policy, and surrogacy contracts are prohibited. This makes Indiana one of the few “unfriendly” US states for surrogacy. That said, courts will still grant parental orders even if the surrogacy contract is invalid. Limited court cases have held that the Intended Parents are the legal parents without the need of adoption proceedings.

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Is Surrogacy Legal in Indiana?

Indiana Family Law makes gestational and traditional surrogacy contracts void and unenforceable as against public policy. However, some courts have begun issuing pre-birth orders in certain and limited instances. Typically, no pre-birth parentage order may be granted unless medical documentation is provided confirming that the child is genetically related to both Intended Parents (meaning that no egg or sperm donor can be used). Second-parent and stepparent adoptions are permitted in the state.

Although surrogacy agreements are illegal, establishing parentage in surrogacy cases is very different matter. Indiana courts have been liberal when granting parentage orders, even without statutory guidance on the subject.

Indiana Surrogacy Laws at a Glance

Can married couples get a pre-birth order in Indiana?

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*

Can unmarried couples get a pre-birth order in Indiana?

Can LGBT+ couples get a pre-birth order in Indiana?

Can single parents get a pre-birth order in Indiana?

* At court discretion
 

Pre-Birth Orders in Indiana

Some courts will grant pre-birth orders that rule on the maternity or paternity of a child. If both parents are genetically related to the child, a pre-birth order can be issued with both of their names as the legal parents of the child. However, the ruling in “In the Matter of the Paternity and Maternity of Infant T” has limited pre-birth orders when one of the Intended Parents is not genetically related to the child.

When it comes to heterosexual couples using a sperm or egg donor and couples with no genetic relation to the child, some courts will grant a pre-birth order IF the gestational carrier agreement was created pursuant to the laws of a surrogacy friendly state (one that specifically supports legal rights of the intended parents).

Support for surrogacy contracts executed in surrogacy-friendly states hasn’t been tested on same-sex couples (married or unmarried). So same-sex couples will not appear as the legal parents of the child, but single parents might, depending on the judge.

In cases where a pre-birth order is granted, any parent listed in the court order will be named on the birth certificate. A pre-birth order typically takes anywhere from one to four weeks, but it may vary. A hearing is not required and Intended Parents are not required to appear in court.

If the order is obtained with the surrogate still going on the birth certificate, then a same-sex couple can obtain an initial copy of the birth certificate showing the name of the surrogate and Intended Father. If the order is obtained asking that both parents are named on the birth certificate, then there would not be a birth certificate with the surrogate’s name on it to obtain.

Following the pre-birth order, any parent listed in the court order will be named on the birth certificate. A pre-birth order typically takes anywhere from one to four weeks, but it may vary. A hearing is not required and Intended Parents are not required to appear in court.

An egg/sperm donor(s) does not have any parental rights over the child.

Post-Birth Orders in Indiana

Post-Birth Orders are given under the same circumstances as Pre-birth orders. Following a post-birth order, whoever is asked to be on the birth certificate will appear on the birth certificate. A hearing is not required and Intended Parents are not required to appear in court.

If an order is granted, same-sex parents will be named as “Parents” in the final birth certificate.

If the order is obtained with the surrogate still going on the birth certificate, then a same-sex couple can obtain an initial copy of the birth certificate showing the name of the surrogate and Intended Father. If the order is obtained asking that both parents are named on the birth certificate, then there would not be a birth certificate with the surrogate’s name on it to obtain.

An egg/sperm donor(s) does not have any parental rights over the child.

 

Surrogacy Contracts in Indiana

Indiana surrogacy contracts are not enforceable, creating legal risk for any intended parent or surrogate who enters into a surrogacy in Indiana.

Beyond specifying that surrogacy contracts are void and unenforceable, there are no surrogacy laws in Indiana that address the creation of surrogacy agreements. Surrogacy agreements may need to be created as “memoranda of understanding” rather than legal contracts. Intended Parents should speak with a local Indiana surrogacy attorney before creating a surrogacy agreement.
 


Best Surrogacy Clinics in Indiana

There are 8 fertility clinics in Indiana currently reporting data about IVF cases. Of these, there are 2 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.

Based on the data reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the top IVF clinics in Indiana have an average success rate of about 31.55% for each embryo transfer. That compares with 46.5% as the national average, which makes Indiana an unfavorable destination for a surrogacy journey in the United States.

Of the clinics performing surrogacy-type service none of them report live-birth rates above the national average.
 


Frequent Questions about Surrogacy in Indiana

Is surrogacy in Indiana legal?

Surrogacy in Indiana is against local public policy, and surrogacy contracts are prohibited. This makes Indiana one of the few 'unfriendly' US states for surrogacy.

In which US states is surrogacy legal?

Surrogacy is legal and supported in almost all U.S. states, with only five with explicit laws forbidding surrogacy agreements. Even among 'unfriendly' states, surrogacy is often still possible, but there are legal obstacles to navigate to ensure your parental rights. Check out SENSIBLE's ratings of friendly surrogacy destinations in the U.S. and worldwide.

Are pre-birth orders possible in Indiana?

Some Indiana courts will grant pre-birth orders even though surrogacy contracts are prohibited. If both parents are genetically related to the child, a pre-birth order can be issued with both of their names as the legal parents, but court precedent limits pre-birth orders to cases where both Intended Parents are genetically related to the child.

Are surrogacy contracts valid in Indiana?

Indiana surrogacy contracts are not enforceable, creating legal risk for any intended parent or surrogate who enters into a surrogacy in Indiana

How much does surrogacy cost in Indiana?

The average cost of surrogacy ranges from $120,000 to $150,000 in the United States, but low-cost options start at less than $100,000. Overseas surrogacy costs as little as $50,000 in Eastern Europe or South America, to $80,000 in Western countries like the UK, Greece or Canada.

How much do surrogates earn?

SENSIBLE surrogate mothers make $50,000 to $70,000 for a surrogacy journey in the United States. The surrogate's total pay is separated into 'Base Salary' and 'Benefits'. Benefits usually include a monthly living stipend, maternity clothes, travel expenses, and other fees.

 

LEGAL DISCLAIMER
All legal information in the SENSIBLE website is intended only as a guide, and not a replacement for opinions of licensed legal professionals. Some information may have changed since the time of publication, or may not apply to the particular circumstances of your case. Please consult an attorney who is licensed in the jurisdiction with authority over your journey.

 

About the authors

  • Author: William Houghton

    Bill Houghton is the founder of Sensible Surrogacy, author of the Sensible Surrogacy Guide, 2x surrogacy dad, and a dedicated advocate for secure, legal and ethical Gestational Surrogacy. Read Bill's Biography
  • Reviewer: Amanda Sapp

    Amanda Sapp specializes in assisted reproduction laws (surrogacy, egg donation, sperm donation, embryo donation), adoption law, and estate planning law. Sapp Law Office provides legal representation to heterosexual, single, and LGBT clients that helps build and protect families.

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