State-by-State Surrogacy Laws: Surrogacy in Missouri
Like a host of other US states, Missouri has no laws in place that pertain to surrogacy. Established protocols created by past journeys in Missouri and elsewhere, however, exist as a guide and provide established ethical and medical protocols. Intended Parents in Missouri that turn into surrogacy come from all backgrounds: LGBTQ+ or straight, married or single/partnered, those who struggle with infertility or have a health condition where pregnancy is a contradiction, and LGBTQ+ folks that prefer to have a genetic tie to their child(ren).
As you being your journey, you will rely on surrogacy-experienced professionals, namely your Assisted Reproduction attorney and a qualified Reproductive Endocrinologist. For Intended Parents, there are essentially two legal phases: your surrogacy agreement (when all parties enter into a legal contract) and establishing parentage via pre-birth orders or post-birth adoptions. You will need a trusted attorney for both aspects of surrogacy.
While the absence of surrogacy-specific laws means surrogacy contracts are not regulated with any mandated standards, nevertheless, specialized attorneys are experienced at creating an ethical framework ensuring safeguards for both sides. In the past, courts in Missouri have held that surrogacy agreements are legally binding which protects all involved.
When you’re ready for your journey or even to ask questions at the onset, set up a meeting with a qualified lawyer. If you need help finding one, please visit Surrogacy Place’s attorney directory. If you don’t see a specific state, check back soon as we update our directory.
Surrogacy (gestational and traditional) is legal in Missouri
Are you prepared to move forward with a surrogacy journey? All forms of surrogacy including altruistic and compensated surrogacy are available in the state. Missouri is home to many families who were created via gestational and traditional surrogacy.
As you ponder whether surrogacy is right for you, make sure you know what you need in a surrogacy journey partner. Does the Intended Parent or surrogate match your birth plan expectations? Do you agree on what to do in the event of pregnancy complications? How much compensation is appropriate?
Do I have to use a surrogacy agency to find an Intended Parent or surrogate match in Missouri? What about independent surrogacy in Missouri?
You never need to use a third-party service like a surrogacy agency to facilitate your journey or to meet all requirements. Forgoing an agency is called an independent surrogacy journey and it’s often preferred by many Intended Parents and surrogates alike. In Missouri and elsewhere in the US, you are never required to use an agency legally or to have a successful journey. We discuss some of the many reasons why independent surrogacy may be the right path below.
Are there restrictions on Intended Parent eligibility for surrogacy in Missouri such as gender/sexual orientation?
Not at all. Surrogacy for Same-sex couples whether married, partnered, or single, have access to the same legal rights and will generally experience an identical process to their straight counterparts.
Pre-birth orders are not available in the state, though pre-birth petitions can be filled prior to the birth to take effect soon after a child(ren) is/are born. Although this is an extra step vs. standard pre-birth orders, it does enable any parentage disputes to be resolved before birth. Post-birth orders are typically granted when at least one Intended Parent is biologically related to the child(ren). Post-birth orders when there is no genetic link can be more unpredictable. The law allows second parent or stepparent adoptions, though these vary by court.
Other considerations for Missouri surrogates and Intended Parents
Traditional surrogacy in Missouri is allowed. As with other states that allow the practice, parentage can be harder to secure, especially if there’s a dispute. Many Intended Parents who are not biologically related may face adoption regulations such as background checks and waiting periods.
In Missouri, the current ban on abortions limits access to emergency fetal termination in nearly all circumstances unless it’s to save a patient’s life (imminently) or would cause the loss of major bodily functions. Since the law is vague about where that line is and the penalty is a felony charge for any physicians performing an abortion, hospitals in Missouri have already been telling patients to travel to other states when they’re experiencing a pregnancy-related emergency. The lack of care locally should be discussed, especially to decide on contingency plans in the event of serious pregnancy complications.
- Your previous pregnancies have been free of major complications and you have not had more than 3 c-sections.
- You consider your family complete and do not see yourself having more children of your own.
- You do not smoke.
- You are in excellent overall health and your BMI is within a normal and healthy range (18-32).
- You are not currently receiving food, housing, or financial assistance from the state or federal government.
- You are within the ages of 21 and 43.
- You do not have any diseases that have the potential to be transmitted to a fetus.
There are many established qualifications to make sure a surrogate is a good candidate. Take this surrogacy requirements quiz to see how you measure up.
Not all women who want to be surrogates are eligible to be one. It starts with feeling ready and knowing the guidelines. If you feel you want to be a surrogate and understand the qualifications, you can start the process of finding an Intended Parent(s) via a matching process. After you match with someone who is like-minded in terms of expectations for the journey, you’re ready to be officially cleared by a Reproductive Endocrinologist. If you pass their evaluation, you can move into legal contracts with a formal agreement signed once everyone is on the same page. If an agreement can’t be reached, the journey ends and each party is free to find a more suitable match. If everyone agrees, then an embryo is transferred and the exciting and hopeful part of surrogacy begins.
For surrogates: here’s our 8-step overview for you to get more info about what you can expect.
When you’re ready and if you are qualified, here’s some information on how to become a surrogate.
Directly match without a surrogacy agency in Missouri
As you look to embark on a potential independent journey, Surrogacy Place’s platform provides you with the necessary tools for matching on your own. Our unique search capabilities are designed with you in mind so that you can directly connect as Intended Parents and surrogates. Once you have determined your search criteria, you will be able to directly match with individuals who meet your specific requirements. The Surrogacy Place site allows searches by location, as well as, various fields related to surrogacy to best suit your needs. Surrogates can join Surrogacy Place for free at any time, while Intended Parents will need to pay a subscription fee to access most of the site’s features, including directly messaging matches. To register, simply visit our website and our sign-up page.
Ditching the surrogacy agency model may be the right choice for you. If you are an Intended Parent who is apprehensive about managing the surrogacy process without an agency, know that qualified Assisted Reproduction attorneys (who charge nothing compared to what agencies do and are required either way) do all of the heavy lifting with respect to administrative work. Most attorneys will provide you with a schedule of things you need to complete to have a successful journey. This includes how to establish your legal parentage rights.
Many surrogates and Intended Parents have had miserable experiences with agencies all while being stuck under agency exclusivity contracts. You can read about why many surrogates, especially experienced ones, prefer independent journeys.
If you’re still unsure what surrogacy typically costs, we have a cost-summary breakdown as a guideline.
If you need information about surrogacy regulations in other states, we now have a surrogacy by state compiled resources page.