Center for Surrogate Parenting - An Ovation Company Logo

Illinois Surrogacy Law Overview

The Center for Surrogate Parenting walks you through Illinois 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 Illinois surrogacy law. In fact, the Center for Surrogate Parenting (CSP) has completed dozens of 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 Illinois 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?

      Illinois has some of the most comprehensive and detailed statutory provisions in the country that address surrogacy, so surrogacy is a protected and accepted practice in Illinois.

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

      The Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act expressly permits gestational surrogacy, sets forth the contractual requirements for an enforceable agreement and establishes the legal parental rights of the intended parents. Most notably, it provides that any intended parents who comply with and satisfy the statutory requirements are required to be named on the child’s birth certificate, thus bypassing the need for court action to obtain parental rights.

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

      Illinois courts are typically highly favorable towards surrogacy arrangements.

    • Is commercial surrogacy legal?

      Commercial surrogacy is legal in Illinois and the intended parents are permitted to compensate the Surrogate for her time and expenses. Such compensation is typically arranged for in a surrogacy contract.

    • Is traditional surrogacy permitted?

      It is unclear. The Act specifically excludes traditional surrogacy because it provides that the surrogate may not be genetically related to the child. However, because no statute specifically prohibits traditional surrogacy, a traditional surrogacy arrangement may still be enforceable if challenged in the courts.

    • Is gestational surrogacy allowed?

      Yes, it is expressly permitted by statute.

    • What are the requirements for an enforceable surrogacy contract?

      Under the law, a surrogacy contract is binding and enforceable if it meets several requirements. It must be in writing, executed before the start of any medical procedures, and signed by the parties and witnessed by two competent adults. The surrogate and intended parents must meet specific requirements. The agreement should include provisions that discuss the legal, financial and contractual rights, expectations, penalties and obligations of the agreement.

    • Can both intended parents be declared the legal parents?

      Yes, if at least one intended parent is genetically related to the child, regardless of whether they are an unmarried or married heterosexual or same-sex couple, or a single individual. No, if neither intended parent is genetically related to the child.

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

      Illinois has enacted a statutory scheme for surrogacy arrangements, so no court action is typically necessary for the intended parents to establish their parental rights. As such, pre-birth orders are unnecessary and unavailable.

      Post-birth parentage orders are available but are typically unnecessary in most situations. The intended parents are statutorily permitted to go straight to vital records to obtain the child’s birth certificate with the intended parents’ names on it, if they and surrogate have a valid surrogacy contract.

      In certain situations where not all statutory requirements are satisfied, a post-birth order may be obtained if at least one of the intended parents is genetically related to the child. In addition, international intended parents will need to obtain a parentage order to have their parental rights honored in their home country. Once the child is born, this is a quick and easy process.

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

      It is unclear.

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

      The timeframe for birth certificate delivery is 3-5 days if requested in-person at the county clerk’s office. Otherwise, it is 2-3 weeks if requested by mail. Same-sex parents are listed Co-Parent and Co-Parent.

      International gay couples can obtain an initial birth certificate that names the biological father and gestational carrier (if the administrative process is not completed prior to the child’s birth, the hospital will presume the surrogate is the mother). They can subsequently obtain a birth certificate that names the biological father or both fathers only, with no mention of the surrogate.

    • Are post-birth adoptions permitted?

      If no intended parent is genetically related to the child, a post-birth adoption process must be completed to secure legal parental rights.

    • Are second-parent adoptions permitted?

      Yes, they are typically unnecessary. However, if the intended parent is in a relationship but unmarried and, for some reason, they cannot obtain a parentage order and/or neither of them is genetically related to the child, then they may complete a second-parent adoption.

    • Are stepparent adoptions permitted?

      Yes, they are typically unnecessary. However, if the intended parents are married and, for some reason, they cannot obtain a parentage order and/or neither of them is genetically related to the child, then they may complete 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.