Surrogacy in Washington

Washington is considered “Very Friendly” to gestational surrogacy. Although every case is different, the state allows single parents and married or unmarried couples (same-sex or heterosexual) to get a pre-birth order even if neither of the Intended Parents has a genetic connection with the child.

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Is Surrogacy Legal in Washington?

As of 2019, Washington law supports commercial gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy arrangements. Under Washington statute, the surrogate is not a parent of the child as long as a compliant surrogacy agreement is in place.

Washington allows pre-birth parental orders in surrogacy cases for any Intended Parent regardless of marital status, genetic connection to child, or sexual orientation. The only requirement is that the surrogacy agreement complies with the statutory requirements.


Washington Surrogacy Laws at a Glance

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

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 Washington?

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

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


Pre-Birth Orders in Washington

Pre-birth orders are available in gestational surrogacy cases under Washington’s 2019 statute. Pre-birth orders are issued during the pregnancy, but they aren’t enforceable until the child is born. A pre-birth order can be issued in most cases, including married, unmarried, gay, straight, donors, single, or coupled intended parents.

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 parents 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.

Post-Birth Orders in Washington

In some states, it is not possible to request a pre-birth order as they’re filed before delivery. In such cases, applicants have to file a post-birth order that does the same job and is filed 3-5 days after delivery.
Just like a pre-birth order, a post-birth order only becomes effective after a child is born. Hence, there isn’t much difference between the two.

Although it’s more common to do pre-birth parentage orders, post-birth orders can be done as well. Washington courts grant post-birth parentage orders in surrogacy cases. 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.

If an order is granted, same-sex parents are named as Father & Father, Mother & Mother, or Parent & Parent. Under Washington statute, the surrogate is not a parent of the child as long as a compliant surrogacy agreement is in place. It may be possible to do an initial birth certificate naming the surrogate as mother but under the law that is not certain with all judges. If a birth certificate were needed identifying the surrogate as the mother, this should be identified in the initial surrogacy agreement and the parentage petition would have to request that an initial birth certificate be issued in that form and a subsequent order would need to be issued post-birth to direct issuance of a new birth certificate with the intended parents identified.

Provided they entered into an agreement pursuant to our statutes, a donor is not a parent of a child, and therefore has no parental rights over the child.