Surrogacy in Maryland

Maryland is “somewhat friendly” to gestational surrogacy. While it’s possible for Intended Parents to obtain pre-birth and post-birth orders, there is no statute or case law providing enforcement of surrogacy contracts, which means that the issuance of the parentage orders depends on the court. Nonetheless, in most cases Intended Parents can obtain a pre-birth order without facing legal hassles.

Surrogacy Maryland State

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Is Surrogacy Legal in Maryland?

Surrogacy is legal in Maryland and most Intended Parents can get a pre-birth order without any difficulty. In cases where a parentage order is not filled, applicants can apply for adoption. The option is open for both married and unmarried applicants.

While there is no statute or case law providing enforcement of surrogacy contracts, lawyers have developed a process that allows for the court’s issuance of pre-birth orders declaring that the Intended Parents is the legal parent upon birth and that the surrogate is not a parent. The Intended Parents is identified on the birth certificate as the parent.
 

Maryland Surrogacy Laws at a Glance

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

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 Maryland?

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

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

 

Pre-Birth Orders in Maryland

A pre-birth order is an official document used to ensure there are no legal issues during or after delivery. The court order is agreed jointly by the intended patents and the surrogate before the child is born. Its purpose is to determine the child’s legal parentage so that the intended parents name can be mentioned on the birth certificate. Once it’s issued, the intended parents get all the rights once the child is born.

Surrogacy Maryland State 2Maryland courts grant pre-birth parentage orders in surrogacy cases, but it varies by court. Both Intended Parents can be declared the legal parents in a pre-birth order where one or even neither parent is genetically related to the child. Pre-birth orders can be granted if the parents are both single or coupled, married or unmarried, gay or straight, or even when using an egg or sperm donor.

The birth certificate is issued in the name of the legal parent, that is, the parent as named in the court order. The gestational surrogate is not named on the final birth certificate that is issued by Vital Records. A pre-birth order usually takes 2-3 days. Hearings are not usually required and the Intended Parents are not required to appear in court.

If an order is granted, same-sex parents are named on the final birth certificate as Parent 1 and Parent 2. In order for a same-sex couple to obtain an initial copy of the birth certificate showing the name of the surrogate and Intended father, both Vital Records has to be ordered by the court to release it. An egg/sperm donor does not have any parental rights over the child, however, is a genetic (traditional) surrogate is carrying the pregnancy and it is her own eggs, then she has parental rights.

Post-Birth Orders in Maryland

Some states do not issue pre-birth orders and require Intended Parents to get a post-birth order, which does the same job but is filed 3-5 days after the child is born. It’s available to both unmarried and married couples and is usually applied in cases where a pre-birth parentage order is not available.

If the pre-birth order has not yet been obtained, then the court will issue post birth order when necessary. Both Intended Parents can be declared the legal parents in a post-birth order where one or even neither parent is genetically related to the child. Post-birth orders can be granted if the parents are both single or coupled, married or unmarried, gay or straight, or even when using an egg or sperm donor.

Following a post-birth order, the legal parents will be named in the birth certificate. A post-birth order usually takes a few days, a hearing may be required, but the Intended Parents are not required to appear in court.

If an order is granted, same-sex parents are named on the final birth certificate as Parent 1 and Parent 2. In order for a same-sex couple to obtain an initial copy of the birth certificate showing the name of the surrogate and Intended father, both Vital Records has to be ordered by the court to release it. An egg/sperm donor does not have any parental rights over the child, however, is a genetic (traditional) surrogate is carrying the pregnancy and it is her own eggs, then she has parental rights.

 

Surrogacy Contracts in Maryland

No local laws address surrogacy contracts in Maryland. It’s best to discuss the situation with a surrogacy attorney in Maryland to have answers to legal questions as there are no surrogacy laws in the state that cover this aspect.

Surrogacy, however, is possible in Maryland and it works in the same manner as it does in other states where there are no clear surrogacy laws. Both parties are required to have individual surrogacy attorneys to help them understand the legal implications of the process and draft a valid contract.
Surrogacy contracts are required to be detailed and created with free consent from both parties. They must include:

  • Expectations for both parties
  • Possible liability and injuries for both parties
  • Steps to follow in case of a dispute
  • Financial details including surrogate expenses and compensation

Experienced attorneys can help draft contracts that keep both parties satisfied. A valid contract is required before starting the process.
 


Best Surrogacy Clinics in Maryland

According to reports, 7 fertility clinics report data on IVF cases in Maryland and only 2 of these perform “surrogacy-type” IVF cases regularly. These can be defined as cases that involve a donor egg and frozen embryo transfers. It’s the most commonly performed surrogacy-related procedure in the country.

Maryland isn’t a very popular option among people interested in surrogacy as the top IVF clinics in the state have a success rate that is lower than the national average – 38.45 percent versus 46.5 percent as reported by the CDC.

No clinics in the state presently offer live-birth or success rates above the national average.
 


Frequent Questions about Surrogacy in Maryland

Is surrogacy in Maryland legal?

While it's possible for Intended Parents to obtain pre-birth and post-birth orders, there is no statute or case law providing enforcement of surrogacy contracts, which means that the issuance of the parentage orders depends on the court. Nonetheless, in most cases Intended Parents can obtain a pre-birth order without facing legal hassles.

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 Maryland?

Maryland courts grant pre-birth parentage orders in surrogacy cases, but it varies by court. Both Intended Parents can be declared the legal parents in a pre-birth order where one or even neither parent is genetically related to the child.

Are surrogacy contracts valid in Maryland?

No local laws address surrogacy contracts in Maryland. It’s best to discuss the situation with a surrogacy attorney in Maryland to have answers to legal questions as there are no surrogacy laws in the state that cover this aspect.

How much does surrogacy cost in Maryland?

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: Margaret Swain

    Margaret Swain is a former surgical, delivery room and IVF clinical registered nurse. For more than two decades her legal practice has focused on Assisted Reproductive Technology Law, Adoption and Guardianship.

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