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Massachusetts Surrogacy Law Overview

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

      Gestational surrogacy is permitted in the state pursuant to Massachusetts published case law. Surrogacy is thereby a common and accepted practice in Massachusetts.

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

      The only relevant statutory law states that the surrogate and her husband, if any, will be presumed to be the legal parents of any resulting child. However, case law permits surrogacy and specifically allows for the Massachusetts Probate and Family Courts to issue pre-birth parentage orders in the county where the child is anticipated to be born.

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

      Massachusetts courts are typically favorable towards surrogacy arrangements.

    • Is commercial surrogacy legal?

      Yes, commercial surrogacy is legal in Massachusetts. 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?

      Although there are no statutory laws that specifically prohibit traditional surrogacy, Massachusetts courts typically will NOT enforce a traditional surrogacy agreement. Rather, the state prefers to treat a traditional surrogacy arrangement as an adoption, which requires the surrogate to wait a minimum of four days following the child’s birth before she may relinquish her parental rights and provide her consent to the adoption. Nevertheless, the surrogate may immediately place the child with the intended parents. However, if the intended father is not genetically related to the child, then a full adoption will be required.

    • Is gestational surrogacy allowed?


    • What are the requirements for an enforceable surrogacy contract?

      Since Massachusetts 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?

      Pre-birth parentage orders will typically be granted in Massachusetts when at least one intended parent is genetically related to the child, this is so regardless of marital status. However, if the intended parents are an unmarried couple, they will also be required to sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity after the child’s birth. No pre-birth order will be granted if neither intended parent is genetically related to the child.

    • Can both intended parents be declared the legal parents?

      Yes, if at least one intended parent is genetically related to the child, regardless of sexual orientation or marital status. No, if neither intended parent is genetically related to the child.

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

      Yes, if it complies with Massachusetts surrogacy requirements, meaning that at least one of the intended parents is genetically related to the child.

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

      The intended parents will receive the baby’s birth certificate 1-2 weeks after delivery, depending on the town. Same-sex parents will be named Parent and Parent.

      International gay couples can obtain an initial birth certificate that names the biological father and gestational carrier, but a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity will be required following the child’s birth. They can subsequently obtain a birth certificate that names the biological father or both fathers only, with no mention of the gestational carrier, but only after completing a post-birth adoption.

    • Are post-birth adoptions permitted?

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

    • 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.