Surrogacy in Massachusetts
Massachusetts has some of the top fertility clinics in the nation and is unique among states in that it has a breadth of published case law on surrogacy. These cases provide valuable legal precedent and influence a framework of ethical and legal standards in the state. While there are no statutes or regulations regarding the legality of surrogacy with specific surrogacy-related requirements, nothing in state law prevents its practice. On balance, the published cases regarding surrogacy help make Massachusetts a favorable location and there are a plethora of surrogacy-created families in the state.
It is unknown if surrogacy contracts are considered enforceable, though courts have decided they may be lawful in the past. It is not a given however, and how an individual court might rule in a matter of dispute in the future is unclear. There is the very reasonable assumption, however, that gestational surrogacy contracts would be treated as valid and upheld.
Unlike with gestational surrogacy, any traditional surrogacy arrangements originating in Massachusetts are generally treated like adoption which means the traditional carrier is not immediately able to relinquish her parental rights though the child(ren) are usually placed under the care of the Intended Parents while the legal process of establishing parentage takes place. An experienced attorney can give provide more specific details on the process for a traditional surrogacy arrangement and what limitations may exist.
For any and all legal questions, whether for gestational or traditional surrogacy, you should always turn to an experienced attorney that’s directly handled surrogacy cases in the past. Surrogacy place has a list of licensed attorneys which can be a great starting point in looking for the right legal representation.
How do you know if surrogacy is the right path to take? Ultimately, only you are qualified to answer that. Be armed with as much knowledge as possible and definitely take guidance from doctors and lawyers familiar with surrogacy.
Is commercial surrogate commonplace and practiced in Massachusetts?
Yes. Surrogacy is a part of life in the state of Massachusetts and the courts tend to be favorable towards surrogacy.
Do I have to use the services of a surrogacy agency to find surrogate and Intended Parent matches?
Nope, you are always free to do this on your own with the help of medical and legal professionals. As you ponder surrogacy in Massachusetts, ask yourself what you need to make your journey satisfying and successful. Knowing yourself and your needs will help you make the right decision in choosing a match for your journey. Many people that may be similar to you prefer independent surrogacy. You can learn about some of the reasons why below.
Is Massachusetts LGBTQ+ friendly? As an Intended Parent am I eligible to use the services of a surrogate?
It should come as no surprise that the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2003 is LGBTQ+ friendly. Under Massachusetts law, all families pursuing surrogacy are treated equally under the law regardless of gender or sexual identity/expression. This makes Massachusetts one of the most friendly states in relation to surrogacy for same sex couples.
Pre-birth orders are an option for couples who have at least one genetic tie to the child(ren) and Intended Parent spouses can be included. Non-biologically linked parents must complete a post-birth adoption. In the case of traditional surrogacy, the Intended Parent(s) must go through a post-birth adoption with the expressed consent of the surrogate as a requirement. Licensed Attorneys can provide you with more information on how parentage is established via surrogacy in Massachusetts.
Yes. Massachusetts passed the ROE Act in 2020 guaranteeing access to abortions up to 24 weeks and at any point afterwards in cases of fatal fetal abnormalities or when a doctor deems a pregnancy risky for a patient’s life and health, including her mental health. Surrogates who are experiencing severe pregnancy complications and need immediate medical intervention can find care locally.
I meet all the of the qualifications to be a surrogate
Are you sure? There’s only one way to be certain and that is to be medically cleared by a knowledgeable Reproductive Endocrinologist and meet all other requirements. If you want to do a preliminary self-evaluation, we have a quiz designed to inform women interested in becoming surrogates.
There are many qualifications surrogates in Massachusetts should meet, including:
– You must be 21 or older and generally under the age of 44.
– You must have previously given birth to at least one kid of your own and that child(ren) is fully grown or you are still raising them.
– You consent to having your pregnancy history and overall health, including weight, evaluated by medical professionals.
– You have no desire to have additional kids of your own and this decision will not change regardless of changes in your family.
– You are not receiving government financial assistance including housing assistance.
– You easily and willingly abstain from using drugs, tobacco, and alcohol while pregnant.
From start to finish, the surrogacy process usually follows a specific timeline: interviewing and vetting possible matches from a pool of qualified Intended Parents and surrogates, a medical evaluation to be sure a surrogate is medically fit to carry a pregnancy, legal negotiations followed by contract signings, then embryo transfer. Surrogates must be represented by an attorney and will never pay her own legal fees (those are covered by the Intended Parents).
Surrogacy Place is a self-matching surrogacy platform available in Massachusetts
Surrogacy Place was started as a resource to help facilitate custom matching. Try matching via your specific needs, including geography. Searching for surrogates and Intended Parents in Massachusetts specifically is possible using our location-based tools.
Surrogacy Place’s self-matching platform and its search tools are free for users registering as surrogates, users registering as Intended Parents will need to pay a small subscription fee. If you’d like to create an account with Surrogacy Place, get started here.
Why independent surrogacy without an agency can be the right choice
Opting for an independent surrogacy journey and not joining an agency presents a range of benefits. For Intended Parents this includes considerable cost savings. Surrogates, too, can benefit. Bypassing agencies often allows more of the available budget to be used towards compensating the surrogate. This allows her to raise her base compensation to a level she feels is appropriate regardless of what’s on the surrogacy agency rate card.
Employing a service like Surrogacy Place for independent matching can also lead to a more thorough and personalized process with matching based on specific criteria, such as location, attitudes about fetus termination, and number of embryos/embryo status.
Exclusive agency contracts may also be problematic for some as the right match may not be affiliated with a particular agency. Electing to go independent can shield surrogates and Intended Parents from sales tactics that prioritize financial gain over finding an ideal match.
Intended Parents who go independent often experience shorter wait times in surrogate matching as they are not restricted to surrogates who have happened to have registered with a particular agency. Surrogates often make the deliberate choice to go independent too. We have a great overview on some of the many reasons why for reference.
Surrogacy can be incredibly expensive. Here’s some of the surrogacy fees and expenses that can be expected.
Searching for more surrogacy info for another US state? Check out our surrogacy by state directory!