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Kentucky Surrogacy Law Overview

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

      There are no statutes or published case law permitting or prohibiting surrogacy, so it is an accepted practice in the state.

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

      Yes, Kentucky law expressly prohibits compensated traditional surrogacy.

    • Is commercial surrogacy legal?

      Yes, commercial surrogacy is legal in Kentucky. The intended parents can compensate the surrogate for her time and expenses. Such compensation is typically arranged for in a surrogacy contract.

    • Is traditional surrogacy permitted?

      If it is a compensated traditional surrogacy arrangement, then no because it is specifically prohibited by statute. However, uncompensated traditional surrogacy is permitted.

    • Is gestational surrogacy allowed?


    • What are the requirements for an enforceable surrogacy contract?

      Since Kentucky does not have a statutory rule on this, there is not a specific set of guidelines for when a judge may uphold the validity of a surrogacy arrangement. Parties should articulate their 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. The surrogate should also meet specific requirements. Furthermore, the agreement should include provisions that discuss the legal, financial and contractual rights, expectations, penalties and obligations of the agreement.

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

      Yes, a pre-birth parentage order will usually be granted to intended parents who are married when at least one shares a genetic relationship with the child, and to single intended parents who are genetically related to the child.

    • Can both intended parents be declared the legal parents?

      Yes, if the intended parents are a married couple (or single) and at least one is genetically related to the child. Maybe (depends on court and judge) if the intended parents are an unmarried couple and only one of them is genetically related to the child. Or if neither intended parent is genetically related to the child (whether heterosexual or same sex married or unmarried couple, or single parent).

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

      Yes, Kentucky courts will typically honor out of state pre-birth orders.

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

      The intended parents can receive the baby’s birth certificate 30 business days after delivery. Same sex intended parents will be named on the birth certificate as Parent and Parent, Father and Mother, Father or Mother.

      International gay couples can obtain an initial birth certificate that names the biological father and gestational carrier. They can also obtain a birth certificate that names the biological father only, with no mention of the gestational carrier. They might be able to subsequently obtain a birth certificate that names both fathers, but only if they first obtain an out-of-state post-birth adoption, which Kentucky Vital Records may honor and thereafter issue an amended birth certificate naming both fathers.

    • Are post-birth adoptions permitted?

      Yes. Unmarried couples, regardless of genetic relationship to the child, as well as non-genetic intended parents who are married will typically be required to complete a post-birth adoption in order to secure their parental rights. However, because second-parent adoptions are not available in Kentucky, unmarried couples will be required to seek a post-birth adoption outside the state to secure their legal parental rights.

    • Are second-parent adoptions permitted?

      Yes. Kentucky Vital Records would most likely honor a second-parent adoption issued by another state, but this is not certain.

    • Are stepparent adoptions permitted?

      Yes, and they are 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.