Surrogacy in Delaware: What you need to know
Are you a resident of Delaware? You’re in luck as Delaware surrogacy laws make it one of the top places to explore a surrogacy journey thanks to a positive regulatory framework in the state. Under Delaware Code § 8-801 through 8-810, Intended Parents and not the gestational carriers are considered the legal parent(s), with pre-birth orders being common and relatively easy to obtain regardless of a genetic relationship to the child(ren). This does not apply to traditional surrogacy, though traditional surrogacy is not prohibited in the state. If pursuing traditional surrogacy, however, remember that the genetic relationship between the surrogate and any resulting child(ren) carries risks to both sides. As a result, most Intended Parents and surrogates in the state and elsewhere opt for a gestational carrier arrangement.
In Delaware, reproductive healthcare and abortion/selective termination is legal. In 2017, the Delaware legislature enacted a law guaranteeing the right to abortion until the point of viability as determined by doctors. Abortions can also be formed after viability if the pregnant woman’s health or life is at risk or if there’s a problem with the fetus that is incapable with life.
Read through the below as a starting place for doing research on the surrogacy process. The information provided is not meant as a replacement for advice from qualified surrogacy professionals licensed in your state. Always obtain legal advice from a licensed and qualified surrogacy attorney prior to beginning and during your surrogacy journey. They will help answer any questions about surrogacy in Delaware and guide you through the legal process.
To find a qualified attorney licensed in Delaware, visit this attorney directory. If your state is not listed, check back soon.
Contracts governing surrogacy arrangements usually fall under the jurisdiction of the state the surrogate lives in, though ultimately your chosen attorney can discuss potential options there with you depending on your individual circumstances. Please note, it’s never a good idea and quite possibly illegal to suggest or require that a surrogate move to another state for the purposes of accessing a surrogacy-friendly legal framework.
Interested in exploring surrogacy? Surrogacy Place allows you to match on your desired qualities including what type of relationship you want with Intended Parents or surrogates and your overall expectations for the journey. Carefully consider the factors important to you as you search for your Intended Parent(s) or surrogate to make sure you are identify a suitable match for your preferences.
Is commercial surrogacy legal In Delaware?
Yes. Across the board, Delaware is considered one of the “surrogacy-friendly” states. It’s an excellent place to undertake a surrogacy journey.
Can you do an independent journey as a surrogate or Intended Parents forgoing a surrogacy agency?
That is always an option and may be the right choice for you.
Who is eligible to become an Intended Parent via gestational surrogacy in Delaware?
Delaware’s surrogacy-friendly laws allow all types of individuals to use surrogacy as a means of starting or creating their families. Intended Parents can be international or domestic, single, partnered, or married, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and individuals who are genetically related to their surrogacy-delivered children or are using sperm or egg donors.
Some more information about surrogacy law in Delaware:
Pre-birth orders are readily available in the state for surrogates and intended parents to establish parental rights. These are legal requests granted by local judges designed to establish Intended Parent(s)’ parental legal rights. These are readily available in the state and generally granted with no issues. In Delaware, pre-birth orders establishing parentage are available to all types of families with no discrimination towards individuals using egg/sperm donors, marital status, or same-sex couples. If you would like to obtain a pre-birth order, make sure to discuss this with your attorney.
When drafting surrogacy contracts in the state with the help of your attorney, you will carefully and thoughtfully work out how compensation is addressed, how payments are made (e.g. via a third-party escrow service), what the risks and responsibilities of each party are, how to meet legal and ethical requirements during the journey, and agree on pregnancy-related protocols and general medical decisions.
Can you become a gestational surrogate in the state of Delaware?
Yes, anyone who qualifies can become a surrogate in Delaware.
First, make sure you are qualified and meet the medical and psychological requirements. Surrogacy Place put together this surrogacy qualification quiz you can take to see if you might meet some of the basic requirements.
What are some qualifications you need to meet to become a surrogate in Delaware?
- Your past pregnancies have been relatively uneventful without a history of complications including symptoms of postpartum depression.
- You must have had at least one biological child of your own that you are raising or have raised to adulthood.
- You enjoy financial stability with reliable housing. You are not enrolled in any government assistance programs.
- You are in a drug/smoke free home and not exposed to hazard toxins or domestic violence. You are willing to abstain from certain foods and alcohol while pregnant.
- Is your age between 21-42? While this can vary by clinic and circumstance, a vast majority of surrogates fall into this age range.
- You take medication as prescribed and follow medical protocols as ordered by the Intended Parent’s Reproductive Endocrinologist and your OB-GYN.
- Your BMI is in a healthy range (e.g. < 32) and you have no major health problems especially ones where pregnancy would be dangerous or ill advised.
If you meet the medical and general qualifications, you’re ready to match. If using Surrogacy Place’s self-matching platform, you will be able to find your surrogacy match via match points you deem important e.g. reasons for undergoing surrogacy journey, gestational vs. traditional, geography, and more.
After you match, surrogates will undergo a formal medical evaluation and both parties will enter legal contract negotiations. After contracts are agreed upon and signed, the embryo transfer phase beings. Soon after, if all stars align, a pregnancy results and the journey is well under way!
Serious about becoming a surrogate? Here’s a guide we put together on the process.
Think you might prefer to match independently? You’re not alone. Read why many surrogates prefer independent surrogacy.
Ready to match with a surrogate in Delaware?
We created a platform to let you do just that. Our searchable platform lets you directly connect with Intended Parents or surrogates based on what you’re looking for. If you need a match in Delaware or elsewhere in the United States, we have custom search tools to help you.
For surrogates, Surrogacy Place is free. Qualified surrogates can easily create an account and get started right away. Intended Parents pay a small fee to fully access the site. Get started and create your account today.
Ready to do a surrogacy journey in Delaware? Consider doing yours independently
Beyond the obvious cost benefit to Intended Parents, independent journeys provide several advantages to surrogates including not being told to an agency exclusively and being tethered to their database of Intended Parents who may or may not be good matches. Independent matching allows both Intended Parents and surrogates to directly vet each other based on all the things important to them. There’s also no pressure to accept a bad match. With the guidance of Reproductive Endocrinologists and attorneys as your partners, independent journeys are available to all seeking surrogacy arrangements.
Looking for surrogacy information for another state? Explore our surrogacy laws by state directory.