State-by-State Surrogacy Laws: Surrogacy in Utah
Utah expressly permits gestational surrogacy agreements via UT Code § 78B-15-801 (2020) provided that certain criteria are met. Court hearings to validate surrogacy contracts under UT Code § 78B-15-801 (2020) require that:
- Intended Parents show medical evidence that they are unable to carry a child due to unreasonable risk to her health or life, or the health risk to any potential unborn child.
- Intended Parents complete a home study similar to those conducted under the adoption process (unless waived by the courts).
- Intended Parents and surrogates have gone through mental health counseling signed off by a licensed professional.
- The surrogate is at least 21 years old and is not using her own eggs nor her husband’s sperm (if applicable). Surrogates may not receive Medicaid or any other state-funded assistance.
- The agreement must affirm the Intended Parent(s)’ responsibility concerning the medical care of the surrogate during the agreement and in the event of a termination of the agreement.
Only married Intended Parents are eligible to participate in gestational surrogacy via statute. This does not mean other types of Intended Parents (unmarried or single) are ineligible for surrogacy in the Beehive state. Rather, the extra protections and easy path for establishing parentage afforded by UT Code § 78B-15-801 (2020) simply do not apply. Intended Parents must complete a post-birth adoption process to establish their parentage if they are entering surrogacy without the protections of UT Code § 78B-15-801 (2020) and there is a question of the enforceability of surrogacy agreements should disagreements arise down the road.
Traditional surrogacy is permitted in Utah because there are no statutes which prohibits it. As is the case with unmarried Intended Parents, there are no protections afforded by law. The additional biological connection between surrogate and child can add a layer of legal and emotional complexity. Especially if this is your first time considering traditional surrogacy, you’ll need the guidance of an experienced attorney.
Is compensated surrogacy legal in Utah?
Yes. There are no specific regulations prohibiting or promoting commercial vs. altruistic gestational surrogacy arrangements. UT Code § 78B-15-801 (2020) does not provide guidance on compensation nor does it limit what gestational surrogates can charge for their time and the inherent risks to their health from pregnancy.
It is possible to do an independent surrogacy journey in Utah and find a surrogate match (and vice versa!) without signing an exclusive contract with a surrogacy agency?
Definitely. In Utah and everywhere surrogacy is legally practiced, there is never a need to use a surrogacy agency. An experienced lawyer is a requirement, an agency is not. There are many valid reasons why you might choose to forgo signing with an agency and handle the management of surrogacy yourself including financial reasons, the ability to interview and directly vet candidates, access to a much bigger pool of potential matches, and a closer, more personal relationship (that can feel less like a business transaction) between parties.
What types of Intended Parent(s) are able to use the services of a surrogate in Utah?
All types of people regardless of identity and family structure can be Intended Parents in Utah, however, the protections afforded under UT Code § 78B-15-801 (2020) are limited to married Intended Parents. Surrogacy is not restricted or prohibited in the state, therefore irrespective of UT Code § 78B-15-801 (2020), all are eligible, including members of the LGBTQ+ community and single parents.
First, you have to be sure you meet the medical and lifestyle requirements. The only way you will know if you meet the medical qualifications is to be directly evaluated by the Intended Parent(s)’ IVF clinic and Reproductive Endocrinologist. Before you come to that step, however, consider all the requirements. Take our short “are you qualified to be a surrogate?” quiz.
To become a surrogate in Utah, you should meet many basic requirements, including:
- You should be between 21-44 in age with the final determination done by a Reproductive Endocrinologist.
- You have strong overall health including a healthy weight with a Body Mass Index (BMI) under 30.
- You are drug-free and do not smoke.
- Your prior pregnancies had no significant complications (e.g. preeclampsia, miscarriages, gestational diabetes).
- You have birthed at least one biological child that you are raising/have raised.
- You are willingness to take hormones/medications as prescribed while also avoiding prohibited substances including OTC medication.
- You have stable housing that is free of hazards, domestic violence and second-hand smoke.
- You are not on any form of government assistance, including Medicaid. Your finances are stable.
Surrogacy Place has created this brief surrogacy quiz to help those interested in surrogacy determine if they meet some of the basic requirements.
If you meet the above requirements, you can start matching with potential Intended Parent(s) through independent self-matching platforms like Surrogacy Place. After you match, you will go through more formal vetting via the medical and contractual phases. If everyone agrees, including medical and legal professionals, you will undergo an embryo transfer and officially begin your surrogacy journey!
Finding your Intended Parent or Surrogate Match in Utah
Surrogacy Place is a secure self-matching platform that connects surrogates and Intended Parents based on their unique requirements. If you’re looking for carriers or Intended Parents based in Utah, you can use our location tools to find folks in Utah. Our service is free for surrogates, Intended Parents pay a small access fee to use a variety of self-matching features. To create your account as either a surrogate or Intended parent, head over to SurrogacyPlace.com.
Want to self-match and start an indy journey in Utah?
Many surrogates and Intended Parents alike choose to embark on a self-managed surrogacy journey for a variety of reasons. Some (as Intended Parents) do it to save on expensive agency matching fees, some (as surrogates) don’t want to be limited to an agency’s terms and price sheet and would rather advocate for themselves. Going independent allows both sides to match on their terms without exclusivity contracts or excessive administrative fees. Agencies usually do not reveal how many people are in their database; many people doing an indy journey want to avoid long wait times and talk to as many potentials as possible before determining their final match.
Many surrogates in Utah prefer not being tied to an agency. Learn more about independent surrogacy.
How much can I expect to pay for surrogacy in Utah?
Learn about the costs Intended Parents can expect to encounter by reading our comprehensive guide on surrogacy budgets.
Want to comparisons from other states? We compiled surrogacy guidelines from all 50 states. Visit our surrogacy-in-each-state page.