State-by-State Surrogacy Laws: Surrogacy in North Dakota
If you call North Dakota home and are interested in exploring surrogacy, you’re in luck: North Dakota is an excellent place to undergo a surrogacy journey thanks to a surrogacy-specific framework of laws in the state. North Dakota permits gestation surrogacy by statute (ND Century Code 14-18 – Uniform Status of Children of Assisted Conception Act). This regulation means that the rights of Intended Parents and surrogates are thoughtful protected. The regulation also ensures that the rights of parents concerning any children born via surrogacy are protected as the Act declares any child(ren) born via gestational surrogacy to be legally the child(ren) of the Intended Parents (N.D. Cent. Code §14-18-08).
Traditional surrogacy (where the surrogate is biologically related to the child(ren) she is carrying) is prohibited in the state. All surrogacy journeys in North Dakota must involve an implanted embryo.
If you’re coming into surrogacy as an Intended Parent, you need to first have conversations with your Reproductive Endocrinologist followed by a licensed attorney specializing in surrogacy.
If you’re coming into surrogacy as a potential surrogate (experienced or your first time), you must understand current requirements, your legal rights, and things to expect as you begin a surrogacy journey. It goes without saying that being pregnant with your own child(ren) is medically and psychologically quite different than being a gestational carrier on behalf of someone else.
If you need an attorney, Surrogacy Place has a list of attorneys that specialize in surrogacy for your reference.
Is commercial surrogacy allowed in North Dakota?
Yes. The Uniform Status of Children of Assisted Conception Act does not place restrictions on how much a surrogate can require for her services as a gestational surrogate. Surrogates in North Dakota are free to request the compensation they feel is appropriate for the inherent risks of pregnancy and the time they devote to a surrogacy journey.
How do I find a surrogate or Intended Parent without a surrogacy agency in North Dakota?
If you’re doing an independent journey – and there are many compelling reasons why you should consider forgoing an agency, you can use Surrogacy Place’s self-matching platform to look for potential matches.
Who can become an Intended Parent in the state of North Dakota?
Members of the LGBTQ+ community are treated the same with respect to surrogacy. In North Dakota, if you need the services of a gestational surrogate to achieve your dreams of parenthood, any type of individuals or couples falling under any gender identity or sexual orientation is equally eligible under the law.
Some other things to keep in mind as you pursue surrogacy in North Dakota:
Pre-birth orders that establish the Intended Parent(s) legal rights prior to birth are widely available in cases where there’s a direct genetic link to the child(ren) from either parent (or both). In cases where there are no genetic ties (e.g. when using a donated embryo), the outcome is less certain. Establishing parentage where there are no genetic links is a more unpredictable process, however, stepparent and second-parent adoptions are available in North Dakota. Your attorney can guide you on the best path to take in establishing your legal rights as parents.
In North Dakota, SB 2150 bans all abortions at six weeks. In theory, there are exceptions if the pregnant woman may experience a “serious health risk” (excluding all mental health risks) or is in immediate danger of death. Given the restrictions in SB 2150, however, doctors are prohibited from solely relying on their own informed medical judgements which inherently makes pregnancy a more risky endeavor. In the event of serious and unexpected pregnancy complications, a travel plan may be advisable. Intended Parents and surrogates should discuss this potential before proceeding.
The first step is to understand the qualifications. Not every woman who has been pregnant in the past without medical complications can be a surrogate. There are so many legal and ethical considerations in place to make sure surrogacy is appropriate for potential gestational carriers. We created this requirements quiz outlining some of the typical requirements.
In general, keep in mind the follow criteria when deciding to become a surrogate in North Dakota:
- You have not experienced complicated pregnancies and deliveries, including pre-term birth.
- You will willing to share your past medical records.
- You are (will be) between the ages of 21 and 42 years old
- You are a US citizen or legal resident.
- You do not use recreational drugs/are a non smoker.
- You have carried and delivered at least one child of your own and are or have parented at least one biological child.
- Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is lower than 32.
- You do not participate in any form of government financial aid/assistance.
If you meet the criteria, you can start matching with potential Intended Parents. Surrogacy Place’s self-matching platform enables surrogates to find matches without an agency. You can use the search filters to find matches based on your specific needs, including the state or country the Intended Parents are located in if that’s important to you.
After vetting and finding your match, the Intended Parent(s)’s Reproductive Endocrinologist and IVF clinic will do a formal medical evaluation. When cleared, lawyers representing each side (the surrogate’s lawyer is always paid for by the Intended Parents) will finalize surrogacy contracts. If everyone agrees, the embryo transfer phase will begin with the hopes of a surrogacy pregnancy!
For more specifics, here’s 8 steps you’ll take if you want to become a surrogate.
Finding the right Intended Parent / Finding the right surrogate
Surrogacy Place is a self-matching platform (no agency needed!) designed for Intended Parents and surrogates to find each other based on specific parameters. Find the right match by searching a database of potentials which means there’s no need to compromise on your non negotiables.
If you’re a potential surrogate, Surrogacy Place’s self-matching tools are free. If you’re an Intended Parent, you will need to pay a small access fee to use the site’s toolbox. It’s easy to create a profile and account.
What are some of the most significant advantages of doing an indy journey and not using a surrogacy agency?
Many Intended Parents look to do independent journeys because of the cost savings and not wanting to wait 18 months+ to be matched. The cost savings can be enormous. Without an agency many Intended Parents can afford to give the surrogate more compensation because an agency isn’t taking most of their available budget.
Beyond the cost considerations, those who forgo agencies can also see a greater pool of potentials; they aren’t limited to private profiles (sometimes Intended Parents are shown less than 3 potential surrogates!). Many agencies pressure surrogates and Intended Parents to accept matches that are outside of their stated requirements. In extreme (but, unfortunately, not all that uncommon) cases, agencies will match Intended Parents with surrogates that aren’t medically fit to carry. Some of the more unscrupulous agencies will recycle medically unfit surrogates and stick them back into the pool of potential matches for the next set of Intended Parent(s)! Additionally, with some agencies, many surrogates find themselves matched with Intended Parents that hold an entirely different set of values and expectations vs. their own.
Whether you’re going indy or through an agency, remember: the only parties fit to clear surrogates and guide surrogacy journeys within the framework of local laws are Reproductive Endocrinologists and trusted attorneys that specialize in surrogacy.
If this is your first journey as an Intended Parent, here’s a detailed cost overview on what you can expect to pay.