Surrogacy in New Jersey

Safe Surrogacy IconSurrogacy is permitted in New Jersey and Intended Parents can obtain a pre-birth order if using their own genetic material or donor eggs and sperm. In New Jersey, the pre-birth order process is very predictable and uniform in each of the state’s counties. Jurisdiction is based on the IPs’ residence, surrogate residence, or the county of the child’s anticipated birth.

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Is Surrogacy Legal in New Jersey?

Yes, surrogacy is legal in New Jersey. The New Jersey Gestational Carrier Agreement Act of 2018 made gestational surrogacy legal in the state. Before that, compensated surrogacy arrangements were considered illegal and unenforceable. The 2018 law allows everyone from single individuals to same-sex or heterosexual couples and married or unmarried couples to use their rights. Neither of the Intended Parents has to be genetically related to the unborn child.

These friendly surrogacy laws have made NJ a haven for Intended Parents.

 

New Jersey Surrogacy Laws at a Glance

Who can get a pre-birth order in New Jersey?

Who can get a pre-birth order in New Jersey?

Who can get a pre-birth order in New Jersey?

Who can get a pre-birth order in New Jersey?

 

Pre-Birth Orders in New Jersey

A pre-birth order is a court declaration supporting the Surrogacy Contract before the birth of a child. The decision officially decides the parentage of the unborn child, i.e.: that the intended parent(s) are the child’s legal parents and the surrogate has no parental rights or obligations. Pre-birth orders will prevent potential conflicts over the baby’s custody and guardianship.

In NJ, Intended Parent(s) can request a pre-birth only if they meet the following conditions:

  • Use both their sperm and egg donor
  • Use a sperm or egg donor
  • Use their own material

The process is straightforward and pretty predictable as it’s uniform throughout the state. Jurisdiction is based on the following:
Surrogate’s residence or the country the child is expected to be born in
Intended Parents residence

Intended Parents will have no trouble in getting a pre-birth order from courts in the state if they meet the above requirements. The law allows both the Intended Mother and Father to be declared the legal parents even if neither is genetically related to the baby.

Pre-birth orders are typically issued in the third trimester of pregnancy, before the birth of the baby. Just like surrogacy agreements, pre-birth orders can be issued even if the parent(s) are a married or unmarried, gay or straight, coupled or single, or using a sperm or egg donor.

Following a pre-birth order, both genetic parents as well as non-genetic parent(s) is applicable will be named on the birth certificate as The Act allows for parentage if birth is a result of embryo donation.

A hearing is not required for a pre-birth order. Once all required documents, pursuant to the act are submitted to the court, it takes approximately 3 weeks to obtain the signed pre-birth order. The Pre-birth order is signed on the paper, appearances in court by the Intended Parents are waived.

If an order is granted, same-sex couples are named Parent A and Parent B on the final birth certificate. An egg/sperm donor does not have any parental rights over the child, this is specifically addressed in The Act.

 

Post-Birth Orders in New Jersey

Post birth orders are used in situations where there’s no option for a pre-birth order. Unlike pre-birth orders, post-birth orders are generally filed four to five days after the baby’s birth.

Technically, when the baby is born, the surrogate is the legal mother until a post-birth order can be executed. In some jurisdictions this could result in confusion at the hospital following the baby’s birth.

To avoid possible conflicts, a qualified surrogacy lawyer can arrange full parental rights at the hospital, while the post-birth order is being processed.

Pre-birth and post-birth orders are obtained through similar legal processes. Despite being issued before the child’s birth, a pre-birth order is not effective until the birth of the child.

 

Surrogacy Contracts in New Jersey

Gestational surrogacy contracts in New Jersey are fully legal and enforceable. The law is clear when it comes out to gestational contracts. Intended parents must follow all the legal requirements for an agreement to be enforceable.

Here are the requirements:

The surrogate must:

  • Be 21 or older
  • Must have undergone a psychological and medical examination
  • Have hired the services of an independent attorney to draft the agreement
  • Have given birth to one or more child

The Intended Parent(s) must:

  • Have undergone a psychological examination
  • Have hired the services of an independent attorney to draft the agreement

These requirements are quite lenient compared to other states. The purpose of these requirements is to protect the safety of both the parents and the surrogate and ensure that no person is exploited.

In addition, there are some other conditions that must be met. These include:

  • The contract must be in writing
  • The contract must be executed by each intended parent, the carrier and (if available) her spouse
  • The intended parents and the surrogate must undergo screening before the contract can be executed
  • No other medical procedure related to the agreement can start before the contract is executed

The contract must clearly explain all the conditions of the surrogacy including:

  • Matters related to child custody after birth
  • The surrogate’s right to decisions related to medical care and treatment after information the intended parents
  • The surrogate’s willingness to undergo the transfer
  • The new parents’ willingness to accept child custody

Surrogacy in NJ can be a hassle-free procedure, yet it’s important that all Intended Parents get in touch with an attorney and get all their questions answered so that there are no issues later on.

 

Best Surrogacy Clinics in New Jersey

Those looking for surrogacy in New Jersey have several options. According to data from the Centers of Disease Control, there are 19 fertility clinics operating in New Jersey. Six of these regularly perform “surrogacy-type” cases, i.e.: cases that involve an IVF cycle using a donor egg and frozen embryo transfers, which is the most common procedure in a surrogacy journey.

The best performing surrogacy clinics in New Jersey offer a live-birth rate of 47.53 percent for each embryo transfer on average. This is slightly higher than the national average, which stands at 46.5 percent. Higher than average success rates make surrogacy in New Jersey a favorable option for Intended Parents in the United States.

Out of the six clinics offering surrogacy-related services, two offer live-birth rates that are higher than the national average:

 

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 (Bill) 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

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