Center for Surrogate Parenting, LLC.

New Jersey Surrogacy Law Overview

The Center for Surrogate Parenting walks you through New Jersey 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 New Jersey surrogacy law.

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 New Jersey 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 expressly permitted pursuant to the New Jersey Gestational Carrier Agreement Act of 2018.

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

      Yes, the New Jersey Gestational Carrier Agreement Act of 2018. Prior to the Act, compensated surrogacy arrangements were prohibited in the state and held unenforceable with support from case law.

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

      Following the enactment of the New Jersey Gestational Carrier Agreement Act in 2018, New Jersey courts are now highly favorable towards surrogacy arrangements.

    • Is commercial surrogacy legal?

      Yes, compensated surrogacy arrangements are now expressly permitted in the state following the enactment of the 2018 Act, but such compensation is subject to some limitations, including a surrogate’s ability to request/receive a base compensation. Rather, all payments made to a surrogate must be solely to compensate her for reasonable living expenses and costs.

    • Is traditional surrogacy permitted?

      Yes, so long as it is not compensated (i.e. altruistic surrogacy) and there was no pre-birth surrogacy agreement. Any traditional surrogacy contracts remain unenforceable. To obtain and secure their legal parental rights, intended parents will be required to wait until after the child is born and may only pursue an adoption, not a parentage order.

    • Is gestational surrogacy allowed?

      Yes.

    • What are the requirements for an enforceable surrogacy contract?

      A surrogacy contract shall be binding and enforceable if it complies with the applicable provisions of the New Jersey Gestational Carrier Agreement Act. The contract must be in writing, signed by all parties and executed before starting any medical procedures. The gestational carrier and intended parents must meet specific requirements and have independent legal counsel. The agreement must also 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?

      Now, following the enactment of the New Jersey Gestational Carrier Agreement Act of 2018, pre-birth parentage orders can readily be obtained by any intended parent, whether married or unmarried, a heterosexual or same-sex couple or individual, and even if neither parent is related to the child.

    • Can both intended parents be declared the legal parents?

      Yes, both intended parents can be declared the legal parents in a parentage order, regardless of sexual orientation, marital status, use of sperm or egg donation, or genetic relationship to the child.

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

      It is likely, but unclear whether New Jersey courts would honor an out of state parentage order.

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

      The intended parents will receive the baby’s birth certificate within 7-10 days of delivery. Same-sex parents will be named as Parent and Parent.

      International gay couples can obtain an initial birth certificate that names the biological father only, but only through a post-birth order. They can also obtain an initial birth certificate that names the biological father and gestational carrier, but only through a post-birth order. They can subsequently obtain a birth certificate that names only the biological father or both fathers, with no mention of the gestational carrier, but only through a post-birth order and additional steps may be required as well.

    • Are post-birth adoptions permitted?

      Yes.

    • Are second-parent adoptions permitted?

      Yes, if the intended parents are an unmarried couple, and they were unable to obtain a parentage order, then they may complete a second-parent adoption to secure their legal parental rights. However, this is a more time-consuming process as it requires a home study and a background check.

    • Are stepparent adoptions permitted?

      Yes, if the intended parents are a married couple, and they were unable to obtain a parentage order, then they may complete a stepparent adoption to secure their legal parental rights. It does require a background check.

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.