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Indiana Surrogacy Law Overview

The Center for Surrogate Parenting walks you through Indiana 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 Indiana 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 Indiana 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?

      Surrogacy contracts are statutorily prohibited and held void as against public policy. Nevertheless, gestational surrogacy is still a fairly common practice within the state and some courts are beginning to grant pre-birth parentage orders.

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

      The Indiana Code provides that surrogacy contracts are void and unenforceable as against public policy. As for case law, one case limited the circumstances in which an intended parent can obtain a pre-birth order to only when both intended parents are genetically related to the child.

    • Is commercial surrogacy legal?

      Because it is not specifically prohibited by statute, commercial surrogacy is technically legal in the state. However, the terms of all surrogacy contracts are statutorily unenforceable in a court of law and therefore any provisions detailing surrogate compensation will likely not be upheld if challenged.

    • Is traditional surrogacy permitted?

      Not technically. Traditional and gestational surrogacy agreements are prohibited by statute, but the practice of traditional surrogacy is not itself illegal. Courts will not grant pre-birth orders in traditional surrogacy arrangements, instead requiring the intended parents to complete a post-adoption process to obtain parental rights.

    • Is gestational surrogacy allowed?

      Yes. Although surrogacy contracts are held void and unenforceable in the state, surrogacy itself is not illegal.

    • What are the requirements for an enforceable surrogacy contract?

      Since Indiana statutorily prohibits surrogacy contracts and holds them void and unenforceable, there is not a specific set of guidelines for when an Indiana 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 spouse, if applicable) should have independent legal counsel and the surrogate should meet specific requirements. Also, the agreement includes provisions that discuss the legal, financial and contractual rights, expectations, penalties and obligations of the surrogacy agreement.

    • Can both intended parents be declared the legal parents?

      Yes, but typically only when the intended parents are a married or unmarried heterosexual couple who provides medical documentation confirming that both intended parents are 100% genetically related to the child.

      Maybe, if the intended parents are a married or unmarried heterosexual couple where only one or neither of them is genetically related to the child and the surrogacy contract was executed in accordance with the laws of a state that specifically declares the respective legal rights of the parties.

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

      Pre-birth (and post-birth) orders are not typically permitted. However, some courts are willing to grant pre-birth orders under select circumstances.

      Typically, no pre-birth parentage order may be granted unless medical documentation is provided confirming that the child is 100% genetically related to both intended parents. In addition, there are some courts that have been willing to grant a pre-birth order in situations where only one or neither intended parent is genetically related to the child on the condition that the surrogacy agreement was created pursuant to the laws of a state that specifically declares the respective legal rights of the parties.

      Currently, only heterosexual couples have been granted a parentage order in Indiana. As such, same-sex couples should exercise caution before proceeding with a surrogacy arrangement in this state.

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

      The timeframe for birth certificate delivery is usually 60 days. Same-sex parents are listed as Mother and Father. However, a court decision effectively requires Vital Records to list same-sex spouses on the birth certificate.

      International gay couples most likely can obtain an initial birth certificate that names the biological father and gestational carrier. They can also subsequently obtain a birth certificate that names the biological father or both fathers only, with no mention of the gestational carrier, upon valid court order to do so.

    • Are post-birth adoptions permitted?

      Yes, when a parentage order is unable to be obtained, including in traditional surrogacy arrangements.

    • Are second-parent adoptions permitted?

      Second parent adoptions are permitted and are available to unmarried couples.

    • Are stepparent adoptions permitted?

      Stepparent adoptions are permitted and available to married couples.

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.