Surrogacy Laws in Maryland
Surrogacy can be the most incredible thing you ever do. If this is your first time, getting to the point where you’re ready can be daunting. If you’re a woman looking to become a surrogate know that there are many other amazing women out there like you; you’re part of an incredible sisterhood. If you’re an Intended Parent that knows they need surrogacy to start or grow a family, getting information about the process can help put your mind at ease.
The state of Maryland is considered very surrogacy-friendly. In fact, an important case In re Roberto d.B helped acknowledge the role of assisted reproduction and specifically cited the legitimacy of surrogacy in creating families. In more recent times, the state’s Equal Rights Amendment challenged the assumption that the Paternity Statutes (the means in which paternity can be refuted) could only apply to men. When a legal path for refuting parentage was made available to women, gestational carriers were no longer required to have their names listed on state birth certificates. Courts in Maryland have acknowledged the increasing complexity of advances in assisted reproduction as well as the changing definitions of who makes up a family.
How about traditional surrogacy? Traditional surrogacy remains legal, but a traditional journey is not without added risks. In addition to the direct genetic connection between carrier and child(ren) which always carries the potential for conflicting parentage claims, in 2000 the Maryland Attorney General released an opinion that traditional surrogacy may violate the state’s adoption laws, specifically the laws that forbid compensation in connection with adoption. The opinion, however, also acknowledged the need for the state to codify norms for surrogacy and surrogacy contracts.
A trusted attorney can tell you more about the nuances of surrogacy in Maryland, including whether traditional surrogacy is an option in the state if that’s the path you are most interested in pursuing. It’s always recommended that you start your journey with sound legal advice from a professional, especially one with extensive experience handling surrogacy cases.
Surrogacy Place has a list of attorneys who have handled surrogacy cases. Find local attorneys.
Surrogacy Place’s self-matching service can help Intended Parents match with surrogates (and vice versa!) and provide you with the first step in completing a successful surrogacy journey.
Is commercial surrogacy legal in Maryland?
Yes. There are no statutes or regulations prohibiting surrogates from being compensated in the state, though it’s unclear where traditional surrogacy falls. Maryland is an excellent place to complete your surrogacy journey, especially for gestational carriers.
Is it possible to match with a surrogate or with an Intended Parent without an agency?
Yes. Thousands of independent journeys have been completed without agencies. There are several fantastic reasons why you should consider independent surrogacy. Read on below.
Who can be Intended Parents in Maryland? Are LGTBQ+ persons treated differently under the law?
Everyone in Maryland is treated equally under the law and nearly all Maryland residents can reliably obtain pre-birth orders. Post-birth adoptions are generally not needed unless the birth happens outside of the state.
More about surrogacy in Maryland:
Reproductive healthcare access is legal and widely available in the state, including for any reason up to the point of viability and available later when pregnancy complications put health or life at risk.
It is unknown if surrogacy contracts are deemed enforceable in the state, though the generally accepted assumption is surrogacy-related contracts fall under general contract law, especially given the state’s surrogacy-friendly legal precedent. When drafting an agreement, your attorney will consider how both sides feel about compensation, how medical decisions are made, what to do in the event of complications, travel restrictions, and more.
After matching, surrogates will be evaluated by a medical professional before legal contracts are signed by all parties. If all goes well, the surrogate will return to the Intended Parents IVF clinic for embryo transfer. After which point, luck and medical science will hopefully produce a viable pregnancy!
It’s important to reflect and be honest with yourself: are you qualified? It’s recommended that you learn about all the requirements before jumping in; we have a short quiz you can take as a guide.
What are the usual requirements for surrogates
- You should be over 21 years old and generally under 42-44.
- You have no issues taking required medication as prescribed.
- You are financially secure/stable and are not accepting government assistance in any form.
- You’ve never had any major pregnancy complications including postpartum depression.
- You have your own family with at least one kid (biological) that you are raising/have raised.
- You have a stable home that you own or you’re in a long-term lease.
- Your BMI is in a healthy range; you have no health issues where pregnancy is a known contradiction.
- You will not smoke/drink/use non-prescribed drugs during your journey.
Meeting all of these qualifications means you’re likely eligible to match with Intended Parents. Only a Reproductive Endocrinologist can ultimately sign off on a more formal medical clearance however.
Surrogacy Place is unique in that we are proud to offer folks the opportunity to match directly with each other using specific criteria such as where Intended Parents/surrogate are located, C-section history, LGBTQ-friendliness, and more.
Do you need a comprehensive guide for the overall steps needed to become a surrogate?
Finding your surrogate or Intended Parent in Maryland
If you want to find your match directly, we have a searchable database designed to facilitate connections based on specific parameters and requirements. Use our location-based tools, or find a surrogate or Intended Parent who best matches your needs.
Surrogacy Place’s surrogacy self-matching site is available and always free for surrogates. Intended Parents will pay a subscription fee when using all the site has to offer. Create your account using a surrogate or Intended Parent profile and get started. https://surrogacyplace.com/
There are many significant advantages for doing your surrogacy journey without an agency
For Intended Parents, this often includes cost-savings, being able to directly vet surrogates, faster matching times (some agencies have waitlists 18 months or longer), and not being responsible for expensive agency fees regardless of the outcome.
For surrogates, forgoing an agency means not having to sign an exclusive agreement and being at the mercy of whichever Intended Parent’s turn on the waitlist it is at the agency, deciding your own level of compensation, and a closer relationship with your Intended Parents. Some worry about potential conflicts – the attorney you selected (which your Intended Parents pay for) is always on hand to resolve any potential conflicts. No one goes through a journey completely alone.
Here’s why a large number of surrogates prefer to go independent.
Want more info on all the costs associated with surrogacy? We prepared a guide.
Looking for state-specific surrogacy info outside of Maryland? We’ve got a surrogacy by state directory!