State-by-State Surrogacy Laws: Surrogacy in Mississippi
Surrogacy is a medically and legally complex endeavor. Surrogacy arrangements require surrogates and Intended Parents (and their spouses/partners if applicable) to have their own attorneys representing their interests. There are a lot of t’s to cross and i’s to dot; a qualified attorney can guide you through the entire process and make surrogacy a lot less stressful than you might think.
Mississippi does not currently have any laws in effect that govern surrogacy. As there are no laws which say surrogacy is prohibited, surrogacy is considered legal in the state. There are also no laws that address either traditional surrogacy or the enforceability of surrogacy contracts. Surrogacy contracts may be legal binding under general contract law, though this has not been challenged in the court system. Mississippi is not unusual in this regard, the law is silent in many states where surrogacy is widely and successfully practiced.
The first step towards a surrogacy journey starts with a qualified lawyer. If you are a surrogate, your Intended Parents will pay for your legal fees and attorneys specializing in surrogacy will not send surrogates a bill for their services. If you need assistance in finding a qualified attorney, check out Surrogacy Place’s attorney directory.
Surrogacy is legal in the state of Mississippi
Ready to move forward with your plans for surrogacy in the Magnolia State? Compensated surrogacy (also called “commercial surrogacy”) is an option in the state. There are families living in Mississippi today created from surrogacy. While there is a lack of specific regulations with respect to surrogacy, there are established ethical and legal standards born from decades of surrogacy in Mississippi and from other states.
As you consider the possibility of surrogacy, take the time to reflect on your requirements so that you have a very clear idea of what you’re looking for in a surrogacy match. How do you plan on handling unexpected pregnancy complications? What is your preferred birth plan? What does a fair compensation look like?
Do I have to use a surrogacy agency to find my match in Mississippi? What about independent surrogacy journeys?
Only you can make the call to use an agency or go independent. Agencies are helpful for some, but are unnecessary to complete a successful journey. There are no states in which using an agency is part of the law and for good reason – agencies do not necessarily create more successful or ethical journeys. Both surrogates and Intended Parents have several great reasons why going without an agency (independent) is the right path.
Are there restrictions on Intended Parent eligibility in Mississippi?
No. LGBTQ+ and straight individuals/families are treated the same in terms of eligibility for surrogacy and for establishing legal parentage. All individuals, however, should know that the process for establishing parentage may differ based on the genetic relationship to the child(ren) and married/unmarried status. Mississippi courts will usually grant pre-birth orders when there’s at least one biological connection to the child(ren), however, they are still possible when there’s no genetical link. Post-birth adoptions are also available.
Other considerations in the state of Mississippi
Regarding traditional surrogacy, as there aren’t surrogacy-specific laws in place in Mississippi, traditional surrogacy, like gestational surrogacy, is permitted because there are no laws restricting its practice. Where a surrogate is biologically related to the child(ren) she is carrying, however, there is an added risk (though small with proper vetting) with respect to parentage claims. Traditional surrogacy remains rare in Mississippi and elsewhere. The overwhelming majority of surrogacy journeys are gestational. There are surrogates and Intended Parents, however, that prefer traditional surrogacy and an attorney can guide you if that’s your preferred path.
In Mississippi, abortions is banned in nearly all circumstances. In theory, there are exceptions if the pregnant person is in immediate danger of death within a very short time frame. Not letting doctors make judgement calls, however, makes pregnancy significantly more risky when physicians feel paralyzed in making life and death decisions for fear of a felony charge. Surrogates who face unexpected and serious pregnancy complications and need reproductive healthcare may wish to have a travel plan in place.
Do you know the specific requirements surrogates typically meet?
There are quite a few important qualifications in place to make sure surrogacy is appropriate to pursue. Take our requirements quiz to see how you do and if you might qualify.
Here are some of the main qualifications women who want to be surrogates must meet:
- You have a previous history with a complications-free pregnancy and have your own biological child(ren).
- You are in excellent overall health and your BMI is within a normal and healthy range.
- You do not need surrogacy to support yourself and you do not receive food, housing, or financial assistance from the government.
- You are between 21 and 43 years old.
- You do not carry any diseases which may be transmitted to/harm a fetus.
Not everyone is qualified and can become a surrogate. If you believe you are medically and otherwise fit to be a surrogate, however, you can begin the matching process. After matching you will be formally cleared by a medical professional, specifically your Intended Parent(s)’s Reproductive Endocrinologist. If you pass that exam, you move into finalized legal contracts. If everyone is in agreement and you still want to move forward, the embryo implantation process begins and a pregnancy will hopefully result.
I’m ready; how can I become a surrogate? Read our overview.
Direct surrogacy matching without an agency
If want to do an independent journey, we’ve got the tools you need for matching. Our platform has unique search capabilities designed to connect Intended Parents and surrogates. Once you know your search parameters, you can directly match by your specific criteria. You can always search by location to find folks in your home state or search by many types of fields that best fits your needs. Surrogates are always able to join Surrogacy Place for free at any time, Intended Parents will pay a subscription fee for their access to most of the site’s matching features. When you want to register, visit our sign-up page.
Finding a surrogate or Intended Parent without an agency
Going agency-free may be the right choice. For Intended Parents who are nervous about managing the process without an agency, know that lawyers (who charge a fraction of what agencies do and are a requirement either way) do almost all of the administrative work including providing you with a checklist of things you need to complete a successful journey.
Many surrogates and Intended Parents have bad experiences with agencies while being stuck in exclusivity contracts. Read about why many experienced surrogates prefer independent journeys (many first-timers too!).