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Maryland Surrogacy Law Overview

The Center for Surrogate Parenting walks you through Maryland 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 Maryland 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 Maryland 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 is implicitly authorized and permitted in the state pursuant to Maryland published case law. Thus, despite the lack of statutory law on surrogacy, surrogacy arrangements are typically found enforceable by Maryland courts, although the results and legal processes do tend to vary by judge.

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

      In re Roberto d.B. (2003) implicitly approved gestational surrogacy (holding that the trial court erred when it refused to allow a gestational carrier to remove her name from the birth certificate).

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

      Maryland courts are typically favorable towards surrogacy arrangements.

    • Is commercial surrogacy legal?

      Yes, commercial surrogacy is legal in Maryland. 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?

      Yes, but it comes with risks if it is a compensated traditional surrogacy arrangement.

    • Is gestational surrogacy allowed?


    • What are the requirements for an enforceable surrogacy contract?

      Since Maryland 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.

    • Can both intended parents be declared the legal parents?

      Yes. if the statutory requirements are satisfied, both intended parents can be declared the legal parents in a pre-birth order or otherwise, regardless of marital status, sexual orientation, the use of donor eggs or sperm, or genetic relationship to the child.

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

      Although it varies by court and can depend on the judge, pre-birth parentage orders are generally granted in most circumstances, regardless of the intended parents’ marital status, sexual orientation or genetic relationship to the child.

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

      Most likely.

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

      The intended parents will receive their baby’s birth certificate several weeks after delivery. However, the expedited timeline is 4-10 days. Same sex intended parents will be named as Parent and Parent.

      International gay couples can obtain an initial birth certificate that names the biological father and gestational carrier. They can also obtain an initial birth certificate that names only the biological father; and/or can subsequently obtain a birth certificate that names only the biological father or both fathers, with no mention of the gestational carrier.

    • Are post-birth adoptions permitted?

      If a parentage order is unable to be obtained, post-birth adoptions are permitted and available to married and unmarried couples alike. However, given the high availability of parentage orders in almost any situation, post-birth adoptions are rarely necessary, with one exception.

      A post-birth adoption may be required when the intended parents are from Maryland but complete surrogacy in a state where they are unable to secure their parental rights via parentage order or adoption. In such a case, the intended parents may return to Maryland to complete either a second-parent or stepparent adoption.

    • Are second-parent adoptions permitted?

      Yes, and they are available to unmarried couples.

    • 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.