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Arizona Surrogacy Law Overview

The Center for Surrogate Parenting walks you through Arizona surrogacy law

Surrogacy is a beautiful family-building method. However, it can be complex, especially when it comes to the laws surrounding it. Thankfully, our experienced surrogacy agency is well-versed in the surrogacy laws of each state, including Arizona surrogacy law. In fact, the Center for Surrogate Parenting (CSP) has completed several finalizations of parental rights in this state.

As the oldest surrogacy agency in the world, we have helped U.S. and international parents to welcome healthy babies with help from U.S. surrogates. We are proud to say that we have never experienced issues with intended parents being able to bring their babies home.

To help you learn more about Arizona surrogacy law and how to create a surrogacy contract, we’ve included some basic information below. You can also contact us for more information.

    • Is a surrogacy contract valid and enforceable?

      The state expressly prohibits surrogacy, thus making surrogacy contracts statutorily unenforceable. Nevertheless, surrogacy continues to be practiced in the state.

    • Does the state have surrogacy laws and/or case law?

      The state statutorily prohibits surrogacy. The statute further establishes a rebuttable presumption that the surrogate is the legal mother and her husband, if any, is the legal father. However, a 1994 case established that the maternal parentage presumption was rebuttable.

    • Are the courts typically favorable or unfavorable towards surrogacy arrangements?

      Arizona courts are typically unfavorable towards surrogacy agreements since they are statutorily prohibited. However, pre-birth parentage orders and post-birth adoptions may be available under certain circumstances, depending on the county and judge.

    • Is commercial surrogacy legal?


    • Is traditional surrogacy permitted?


    • Is gestational surrogacy allowed?


    • What are the requirements for an enforceable surrogacy contract?

      Since Arizona explicitly prohibits surrogacy, there is not a specific set of guidelines for when an Arizona judge may uphold the validity of a surrogacy arrangement. Parties should articulate their intentions, desires, roles, and responsibilities as clearly and specifically as possible to provide proper framework for dispute resolution should an issue arise.

      The intended parents and the surrogate (and her husband, if applicable) should have separate legal counsel. The surrogate should also meet specific guidelines.

    • Can both intended parents be declared the legal parents?

      No, if neither of the intended parents are genetically related to the child. Yes, only if both intended parents, whether married or unmarried, or a single individual intended parent, are genetically related to the child. Maybe, if one intended parent is genetically related to the child while one intended parent is not. But results vary greatly by county and by judge.

    • Are pre-birth and post-birth orders permitted?

      Pre-birth (and post-birth) orders may be permitted. Arizona courts began granting pre-birth parentage orders after the 1994 state court decision that allowed the intended parents to rebut the maternal parentage presumption. Pre-birth parentage orders are now likely to be issued when both the intended parents (whether married or unmarried) are genetically related to the child. However, when an egg or sperm donor is used, but one of the intended parents is still genetically related to the child, a pre-birth order may be possible, but results vary greatly by county and judge.

    • Will the state honor a pre-birth order issued by another state?


    • What do intended parents need to know about getting the baby’s birth certificate?

      The timeframe for delivery of the birth certificate after birth is 7-10 days if walkthrough or 3 weeks if by mail. Same-sex parents are listed as Parent and Parent.

      International gay couples can obtain an initial birth certificate that names the biological father and gestational carrier. They can subsequently obtain a birth certificate that names the biological father or both fathers only, with no mention of the gestational carrier. However, initially only the biological father will be named, and the non-biological father may then be added to the birth certificate only after they have completed a second-parent adoption outside the state.

    • Are post-birth adoptions permitted?

      Yes, but only stepparent adoptions, when the intended parents are a married, heterosexual couple.

    • Are second-parent adoptions permitted?

      Second-parent adoptions are prohibited in Arizona, requiring same-sex couples who have no genetic relation to the child to go outside the state to obtain a second-parent adoption. Arizona will honor a second parent adoption order issued by another state and add the parent to the child’s birth certificate.

    • Are stepparent adoptions permitted?

      Stepparent adoptions are available only to married heterosexual couples. When neither intended parent shares a genetic relationship to the child, a parentage order will not be possible, and a married heterosexual couple must instead wait until after the child’s delivery to file for a stepparent adoption.

VorzimerMasserman Disclaimer: This is a summary for informational use only and should not be relied upon for legal advice. Please note that the state laws regarding surrogacy frequently change and vary from county to county. The attorneys of VorzimerMasserman are only licensed in California. VorzimerMasserman shall not be responsible for any liability associated with this list.