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Missouri Surrogacy Law Overview

The Center for Surrogate Parenting walks you through Missouri 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 Missouri 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 Missouri 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 specifically permitting or prohibiting surrogacy. Nevertheless, surrogacy procedures in Missouri allow for post-birth orders in certain situations, with results sometimes varying by county. Pre-birth orders, on the other hand, are not issued in Missouri.

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


    • Is commercial surrogacy legal?

      Commercial surrogacy is legal in Missouri and the intended parents are permitted to compensate the surrogate for her time and expenses. Such compensation is typically arranged for in a surrogacy contract.

    • Is traditional surrogacy permitted?

      Yes. Since there are no laws in Missouri that expressly prohibit traditional surrogacy, it is technically legal. However, since a traditional surrogacy arrangement has yet to be challenged in a Missouri court, there is a degree of uncertainty as to whether such an arrangement would be upheld and enforced.

    • Is gestational surrogacy allowed?


    • What are the requirements for an enforceable surrogacy contract?

      Since Missouri does not have a statutory rule on this nor any relevant case history, there is not a specific set of guidelines for when a judge may uphold the validity of a surrogacy arrangement. Thus, the requisite elements for an enforceable surrogacy contract may vary on a case-by-case basis and are up to the judge’s discretion. 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.

      Generally, the intended parents and surrogate should have independent legal counsel, the surrogate should meet specific requirements, and the agreement should include provisions that discuss the legal, financial, and contractual rights, expectations, penalties and obligations of the surrogacy agreement.

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

      Although pre-birth orders are not issued in Missouri prior to delivery, a parentage order may be filed prior to delivery which will become effective soon after the child is born. Post-birth orders are most likely to be granted to single intended parents or married intended parents when at least one of them is genetically related to the child. For same-sex or unmarried couples or when neither intended parent is genetically related to the child, it may still be possible to obtain a post-birth order, but the results vary by county and judge.

    • Can both intended parents be declared the legal parents?

      Yes, if it is a single intended parent or a married couple where at least one of them is genetically related to the child, or if it is an unmarried couple and both parents are genetically related to the child. Maybe, if the parents are an unmarried heterosexual or same-sex couple and only one of them is genetically related to the child, with results varying by county. In some Missouri counties, the courts may only grant post-birth orders for the genetic parent, requiring the non-genetic parent to complete a post-birth adoption.

      It varies (but likely YES) if neither parent is genetically related to the child and the parents are a married couple or a single parent. It varies (but likely NO) if neither parent is genetically related to the child and the parents are an unmarried couple.

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


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

      The parents will get the birth certificate anywhere from 2 weeks to 4 months, but typically within 2 weeks. Same-sex parents are named as Parent and Parent.

      International gay couples can obtain an initial birth certificate that names the biological father and gestational carrier, but the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity must first be signed. They can subsequently obtain a birth certificate that names the biological father or both fathers only, with no mention of the gestational carrier.

    • 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. When a post-birth adoption will be necessary will vary based on the judge and county. Typically, if no parent is genetically related to the child, then a post-birth adoption will likely be required in order to obtain and secure the legal parental rights. In addition, a post-birth adoption may be necessary in some instances where the parents are an unmarried couple.

    • 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.