Surrogacy Laws in Arizona
Thinking about undergoing a surrogacy in Arizona?
Proceed with caution. This cannot be stressed enough. While the surrogacy process is not prohibited in the state, nevertheless, Arizona is considered a less-than-ideal place for surrogacy because of the lack of legal protections and the presumption (which can, but not always, be disputed through pre birth orders) that the surrogate is the legal mother of the child(ren). Other than the states that prohibit surrogacy outright, Arizona is at the bottom of the “surrogacy-friendly” list and is considered a less-than-ideal location for surrogacy journeys.
Surrogacy contracts in Arizona are not binding or unenforceable. What this means is that even if Intended Parents and surrogates are on the same page at the start of the journey, if issues arise, there are no legal protections that a thoughtfully negotiated contract provides and no recourse available when either party has been wronged. While it’s true there have been many successful journeys in Arizona, you’d be going into the arrangement as a leap of faith. Some people are comfortable with that, especially if they have an otherwise ideal match and feel they can trust the person they are starting a journey with, most choose to pursue gestational surrogacy elsewhere.
In Arizona, attorneys will sometimes create a memo, something of an informal agreement between parties. Even though putting things in writing is a great way to discuss all aspects of the journey ahead of time, if issues do arise, nothing in any written documents, including signed documents and emails and/or proof of compensation/financial transactions, can be used to protect your interests.
If you are in Arizona and would still like to pursue surrogacy, it’s best to go into it with eyes open as to the limitations of surrogacy protections in the state. Have a frank discussion with a qualified Assisted Reproduction attorney. Legal professionals specializing in Assisted Reproduction can advise you on how to undergo surrogacy in Arizona ethically and responsibly even without the ability to codify terms into an agreement. There are also many fantastic IVF clinics and doctors in the state to assist you in your fertility and surrogacy journey. If you decide surrogacy in Arizona is right for you, know your risks and proceed from there.
While traditional surrogacy is not prohibited in Arizona, because of the lack of legal protections, it is strongly advised that you do not undergo a traditional surrogacy journey in the state. Additionally, surrogacy in Arizona is generally only pursued when at least one Intended Parent is biologically related to the child(ren).
For more information on Arizona law, please consult an attorney specializing in Assisted Reproduction in the state of Arizona. As a resource, please check out Surrogacy Place’s Assisted Reproduction attorney directory. If your state is currently not listed, check back soon as legal professionals are constantly being added/updated.
Are surrogates in Arizona allowed to be compensated/engage in commercial surrogacy despite surrogacy contracts being deemed enforceable?
Yes – but as noted, this is done without legal protections for either side.
How about independent surrogacy? Can you match with a surrogate in Arizona without the use of an agency?
Yes – and there are tons of very good reasons why you may want to If pursuing surrogacy in Arizona as discussed further below.
What types of individuals/couples can successfully petition their parentage in Arizona?
You are likely to have a significantly easier time if one Intended Parent is genetically related to the child(ren) irrespective of sexual orientation. Most journeys in Arizona involve at least one Intended Parent that is biologically related to the child(ren). Especially because surrogacy agreements are considered non binding, a judge could declare a surrogate as the legal mother and, if married, her husband as the legal father. This is especially true if a surrogate changes her mind (which is rare, surrogates are psychological screened for this tendency), but do note if she did, she would be within her legal rights to claim the child even if she received compensation from the Intended Parents who would not be entitled to reimbursement for the money they spent, including covering medical expenses. Tread carefully.
Courts in Arizona do grant pre-birth orders, however, they are more likely to be granted when both Intended Parents (irrespective of marital status) are genetically related to the child(ren) vs only one. In situations where only one Intended Parent is genetically related to the child(ren), it gets more complicated and depends on the judge and county. Pre-birth orders are absolutely not possible in Arizona where neither Intended Parent is generally related to the child(ren). Additionally, Arizona does not allow unmarried parents to apply for second-parent adoption, though they would recognize adoptions that originated from other states. Be sure to seek legal advice if you have questions or concerns.
Surrogacy in Arizona: Other Considerations:
Post the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v Wade, and the subsequent legislation signed by Arizona’s governor, abortion was banned in Arizona after 15 weeks as of September 24, 2022. This creates unique risks impacting any pregnancies in the state. Intended Parents and surrogates must understand how this may impact the surrogate who may not be able to access Reproductive healthcare even if the pregnancy is severely and negatively impacting her health, or if the fetus is not developing in a way that’s compatible with life. This is regardless of personal feelings on abortion.
Although it’s tempting to find an Intended Parents or surrogates that live near you or in your state, you should weigh that against the additional hurdles of a surrogacy journey in a state like Arizona. Especially with the extremely surrogacy-friendly state of California right next door.
How to Become a Surrogate in Arizona
Check to make sure you’re qualified, not everyone can be a surrogate. Take our Surrogacy Place short quiz to see if your answers meet some of the most basic requirements.
Some general guidelines on surrogacy in Arizona:
- Complication-free, so-called “easy” pregnancy history.
- You are done with having kids/have or are raising your own child(ren).
- A lack of a drug history, do not smoke, willingness to abstain from drugs/alcohol during pregnancy.
- Willingness to follow all your doctor’s orders before and during pregnancy.
- Between 21-44 years old, though this may vary slightly depending on your relationship to the Intended Parents/history/clinic.
- You are not on any type of financial assistance from the government.
Only a Reproductive Endocrinologist can ultimately sign off and clear you medically, however, if you feel you are qualified, you can start the exciting process of matching with Intended Parents.
Surrogacyplace.com is an online platform specially designed for independent matching, allowing you to match on things you consider important, including geography, surrogacy compensation and more.
After you match, you’ll go on to be cleared by the Intended Parent(s)’ Reproductive Endocrinologist. Although there’s not really a “contract phase” in Arizona, you’ll still need to discuss your rights with your chosen attorney. Assuming all goes as planned, an embryo will be implanted and you’ll hopefully be on your way to a successful pregnancy!
Here’s why many surrogates, including those in Arizona, prefer to match independently.
Finally, here’s even more information on how to become a surrogate.
Finding a Surrogate Match in Arizona
Because Surrogacy Place is a secure platform for individuals/couples who are seeking surrogates and the gestational carriers themselves, both parties are able to match and communicate directly with each other based on their specific preferences and unique.
Surrogacy Place is always free for surrogates. Intended Parents pay a small fee to view and message surrogates. Create your Surrogacy Place account now.
Why do independent surrogacy journeys in Arizona?
The top reason is removing the agency middle man relationship and the extraordinary high fees. Removing agency fees not only saves the Intended Parents a lot of money, but the cost savings can be used towards a much higher base fee for the surrogate and bring her overall compensation up to a higher number. Surrogates deserve to receive their desired fee, regardless of agency financial goals.
Here’s some general costs Intended Parents can expect to pay whether or not they use an agency.
Looking for surrogacy information for another state? Explore our surrogacy by state directory.
FAQs Regarding Surrogacy in Arizona
What is surrogacy in Arizona?
Surrogacy in Arizona is a legal arrangement in which a surrogate agrees to carry a child for intended parents. It can be either traditional or gestational surrogacy.
What are the surrogacy laws in Arizona?
The surrogacy law in Arizona is governed by the Arizona Revised Statute § 25-218. It covers the legal aspects and requirements for surrogacy agreements and gestational carrier arrangements.
How does the surrogacy process work in Arizona?
The surrogacy process in Arizona involves various steps such as finding a suitable gestational carrier, creating a surrogacy contract, and obtaining a pre-birth order through the Arizona courts to establish the legal parentage of the intended parents.
What are the legal considerations for surrogacy in Arizona?
It’s essential to seek legal advice and work with legal counsel to ensure the surrogacy agreement complies with Arizona laws. This includes addressing issues like second-parent adoption and stepparent adoption, especially for same-sex couples.
Are surrogacy contracts enforceable in Arizona?
Arizona surrogacy laws do not recognize and enforce surrogacy contracts. This is the main reason Arizona is not considered to be a “surrogacy friendly state.
Can surrogacy arrangements be pursued in another state?
While surrogacy arrangements can be pursued in Arizona, it is not considered to be a “surrogacy friendly” state and therefore, another state may be more favorable for your journey.