Center for Surrogate Parenting, LLC.

Louisiana Surrogacy Law Overview

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

      Beginning in 2016, gestational surrogacy is statutorily permitted but only in very restrictive instances. The new surrogacy laws uphold gestational carrier agreements only when signed by intended parents who are a married heterosexual couple who have both contributed their own gametes to create their embryo. Traditional surrogacy and commercial surrogacy arrangements are unenforceable and void as against the state’s public policy.

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

      The Louisiana Surrogacy Bill legalized gestational surrogacy arrangements but only in the limited instance where the intended parents are Louisiana residents and are a married heterosexual couple who are both genetically related to the child. In addition, there are also statutory provisions in place that establish specific and extensive contractual requirements and limitations that must be complied with in order for a surrogacy contract to be enforced, and the lack of compliance with such provisions risks subjecting all parties to criminal and civil penalties (fines up to $50,000 and/or imprisonment up to 10 years).

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

      Louisiana courts are typically unfavorable towards surrogacy arrangements in most instances, but the courts will treat a surrogacy agreement more favorably in the limited instance where the intended parents satisfy the statutory requirements.

    • Is commercial surrogacy legal?

      No, the 2016 Louisiana Gestational Carrier Act expressly and specifically forbids any compensation to be paid to a surrogate by the intended parents and holds any such arrangements as void and unenforceable. However, the Act allows for reimbursement to the surrogate for any actual expenses incurred.

    • Is traditional surrogacy permitted?

      No, traditional surrogacy contracts are void and unenforceable as contrary to public policy. In addition, provisions of the 2016 Act also declare that a “contract for a genetic gestational carrier shall be absolutely null.”

    • Is gestational surrogacy allowed?

      Yes, but only for married heterosexual couples who use their own sperm and eggs and who are both Louisiana residents.

    • What are the requirements for an enforceable surrogacy contract?

      A surrogacy contract shall be binding and enforceable if it is in writing and signed by all parties. The contract must be court-approved prior to any embryo transfer and found in accordance with all requirements set forth under the Act. There must be no agreement to provide compensation beyond that explicitly allowed for under the Act for actual medical expenses and lost wages incurred. The surrogate and intended parents must meet specific requirements, including having been domiciled in the state for a minimum of 180 days. The agreement should include provisions that discuss the legal, financial, and contractual rights, expectations, penalties and obligations of the surrogacy agreement. It is recommended that the parties have independent legal counsel.

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

      Pre-birth parentage orders are available in the state but only under the very limited circumstance in which the intended parents are a married heterosexual couple who are both genetically related to the child (meaning that no egg or sperm donor was used).

    • Can both intended parents be declared the legal parents?

      Yes, but only if the intended parents are a married heterosexual couple and each of them is genetically related to the child.

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

      No.

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

      The intended parents will receive the birth certificate within 4-6 weeks.

      Because Louisiana has a state residency requirement for the intended parents, no surrogacy contract may be entered into in the state by international couples. In addition, Louisiana also requires that any intended parents be a married heterosexual couple, so no same-sex couple may enter a valid surrogacy arrangement in the state.

    • Are post-birth adoptions permitted?

      Intended parents who are unable to obtain a parentage order will be required to complete a post-birth adoption in order to obtain and secure their legal parental rights. Specifically, any parents who are single parents or an unmarried couple or parents who are a married couple and only one or neither of them is genetically related to the child, will be required to complete a post-birth adoption to secure his or her legal parental rights.

      However, only married intended parents can file for adoption in Louisiana because the state only allows for stepparent adoptions. Thus, unmarried couples will have no recourse for establishing their parental rights in the state.

    • Are second-parent adoptions permitted?

      No.

    • Are stepparent adoptions permitted?

      Stepparent adoptions are permitted and are available to married couples who are Louisiana residents. However, the child’s final birth certificate will not be issued for over 6 months following delivery due to the fact that stepparent adoptions may not be filed for at least 6 months (the state requires that the adopting stepparent have had physical or legal custody of the child for at least 6 months prior to filing).

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.