State-by-State Surrogacy Laws: Surrogacy in Wyoming
Wyoming is a newcomer into the states-with-surrogacy-specific laws clubs. In 2021, the state enacted HB0073 – Birth certificates-gestational agreements. While the bill affirmed the enforceability of gestational surrogacy agreements, it also provided several noteworthy restrictions. Surrogacy in Wyoming includes a residency requirement for the Intended Parents, namely that the Intended Parents must be current residents of Wyoming and have been for least one full year before the gestational agreement’s effective date. This inherently excludes international IPs, as well as IPs from other states. If you are a surrogate in Wyoming, you are limited to matching with local Intended Parents. The other noteworthy limitation is that compensation is restricted to “expenses related to prenatal care, delivery of the child and any other costs including the cost of lost opportunity that are directly connected to the pregnancy.” Other costs and lost opportunity are gray areas: does that include fees for embryo transfer and other fees for participating in medical procedures? Does that include child care for a surrogate’s own children? Does it include a supplement of wages paid to a surrogate who might have a harder time securing or working at specific jobs while pregnant? The law is unclear.
If you are interested in exploring a surrogacy journey in Wyoming, you will need a lawyer that is licensed in the state and understands the ramifications of the new restrictions set forth by HB007 – Birth certificates and gestational agreements. Surrogacy Place is proud to offer a directory of licensed attorneys.
Is compensated surrogacy legal in Wyoming?
This has a complicated answer. Since HB0073 – Birth certificates-gestational agreements is a more recent bill, attorneys licensed in Wyoming are still charting the course on how to address surrogacy compensation and direct medical and pregnancy-related reimbursements in the state. Whether or not surrogates can be compensated at all and to what degree is simply an unknown.
Given the limitations with residence and compensation restrictions, surrogacy is infrequently practiced in the state. How a judge might rule with respect to parentage outside of the very-specific arrangements as outlined in HB0073 are unknown.
Do I need to use a surrogacy agency to find potential surrogates and Intended Parents?
No, Intended Parents and surrogates never need to use the expensive matchmaking services that surrogacy agency offer. Many surrogates and Intended Parents prefer to self-manage their journey with the assistance of qualified legal representation and an experienced IVF clinic.
What types of Intended Parent(s) can use the services of a surrogate in Wyoming?
In Wyoming, HB0073 – Birth certificates-gestational agreements specifically mentions “mother and father” in the language. The bill’s language inherently excludes single parents and LGBTQ+ partners/spouses. It’s not clear how this language might affect the enforceability of surrogacy contracts under alternative family structures.
Pre-birth parentage orders are unavailable in the state. WY Stat § 14-2-811 (2019) does allow proceedings to determine parentage to begin prior to the birth of the child(ren), though final determination will not be considered concluded until after the birth of the child(ren). It is unclear how these proceedings are impacted by LGBTQ+/marital status or the genetic relationship to the child(ren).
I understand the limitations, but I still want to be a surrogate in Wyoming. What are some of the medical requirements?
If you meet the general requirements are outlined below, you will still need to be evaluated by an IVF clinic/Reproductive Endocrinologist who will review your current health via examination and past medical history. Take our short “are you qualified to be a surrogate?” online quiz.
Here are some of the general health and lifestyle qualifications for surrogacy:
- Have had no more than 3 c-sections and have had only uneventful (by medical standards) prior pregnancies.
- You must be over the age of 21 per state law. Most surrogates are generally under the age of 43.
- You are self-sufficient and responsible and do not need surrogacy to support yourself or your family.
- You have carried and birthed at least one child of your own that you are raising or is currently an adult.
- You have a supportive family/support structure.
- You are healthy with a Body Mass Index (BMI) outside of an unhealthy range (<32).
- You are not a drug addict nor will you use tobacco or alcohol during pregnancy.
The pre-embryo-transfer process starts with both sides interviewing prospective candidates (also called surrogacy “matching”). After matching the surrogate will be thoroughly vetted by the Intended Parent(s)’ IVF clinic. If she is medically cleared, legal contracts are then finalized and executed by all parties. This is followed by embryo transfer.
For surrogates, here’s an eight-step overview on what to expect.
Using a surrogacy matching platform like Surrogacy Place in Wyoming
Wyoming’s restrictions on surrogacy present a unique challenge to surrogates in the state who must match with in-state Intended Parents, assuming Wyoming is determined to be the place of contractual jurisdiction. Intended Parents in Wyoming, by contrast, may elect to find surrogates outside of Wyoming and there are many compelling reasons why they may choose to do so including the wider availability of surrogates in larger states.
Surrogacy Place offers surrogacy self-matching services. Using SurrogacyPlace.com eliminates the need to use a surrogacy agency. Users can refine their searches using customized parameters, including location-based searching. You do not need a pay a surrogacy agency to find suitable matches.
While users signing up as surrogates can access Surrogacy Place’s self-matching tools for free, Intended Parents are required to pay a small subscription fee in order to access the entirety of site features. Signing up is quick and easy. You can create an account at any time at Surrogacyplace.com.
Why IPs and surrogates should consider surrogacy without an agency
Opting for a self-managed surrogacy comes with several advantages for Intended Parents, including a not-so-insignificant cost savings. By avoiding agencies and their high prices, surrogates can also benefit since agencies typically take a large portion of the Intended Parents’ available budget. Intended Parents who do not use agencies often have more funds available to directly compensate the surrogate and provide her with her desired fee. In Wyoming, however, it’s imperative that you speak to a qualified attorney specifically with respect to compensation so that that you understand what restrictions apply and how to comply to with local law.
Using an agency is never a guarantee that you’ll find your ideal match. Many agencies are secretive about their current client list. Some smaller agencies only represent one surrogate at a time with only a small handful of Intended Parents!
Here are some the reasons surrogates prefer to match independently.
Surrogacy is undoubtably very expensive for Intended Parents. Here are some of the costs most Intended Parents will pay for a surrogacy journey.
Broadening your search outside of Wyoming? You can use our surrogacy by state guide as a resource.