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New York Surrogacy Law Overview

Compensated gestational surrogacy arrangements are now legal in New York state!!

The state passed the new surrogacy legislation on April 2, 2020, which provides a framework for establishing parentage, sets up the criteria for an enforceable surrogacy contract, and expressly allows for pre-birth parentage orders! This is wonderful and exciting news in the world of surrogacy and we are thrilled to now be accepting applications for New York surrogates! More details coming soon!

And just an FYI for you guys, here are Governor Cuomo’s remarks:

“Legalizing Gestational Surrogacy in New York State: The FY 2021 Enacted Budget legalizes gestational surrogacy in New York State once and for all, helping LGBTQ couples and couples struggling with infertility. The legislation will also establish criteria for surrogacy contracts that provide the strongest protections in the nation for parents and surrogates, ensuring all parties provide informed consent at every step of the process, and will create a Surrogates’ Bill of Rights, which would ensure the unfettered right of surrogates to make their own healthcare decisions, including whether to terminate or continue a pregnancy and that surrogates have access to comprehensive health insurance and independent legal counsel of their choosing, all paid for by the intended parents.

The legislation included in the budget will also create a streamlined process for establishing parenthood when one of the individuals is a non-biological parent, a process known as “second parent adoption.”(

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 York 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?

      New York law declares surrogacy contracts to be void and unenforceable as against public policy. Uncompensated gestational surrogacy, although unenforceable, is not illegal or prohibited.

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

      The New York Code specifically and expressly prohibits all surrogacy contracts, declaring them void and unenforceable as they are contrary to public policy.

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

      New York courts are generally unfavorable towards surrogacy arrangements.

    • Is commercial surrogacy legal?

      No, and those who engage in a compensated surrogacy arrangement in New York will be subject to fines.

    • Is traditional surrogacy permitted?

      No, the law also applies to traditional surrogacy arrangements. However, traditional surrogacy is permitted in compassionate cases in which the surrogate does not receive any compensation.

    • Is gestational surrogacy allowed?

      No, only altruistic, uncompensated gestational surrogacy arrangements may be permitted, but they remain unenforceable.

    • What are the requirements for an enforceable surrogacy contract?

      Since New York expressly declares all surrogacy contracts void and unenforceable, there is not a specific set of guidelines for when a New York judge may uphold the validity of a surrogacy arrangement. 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.

    • Can both intended parents be declared the legal parents?

      Yes, only if both intended parents are genetically related to the child, regardless of whether unmarried or married. Otherwise, a post-birth adoption will be required.

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

      Only in situations involving altruistic gestational surrogacy arrangements may intended parents be capable of obtaining a parentage order. In such cases, a pre-birth order will only be granted to a married or unmarried heterosexual couple that does not use any egg or sperm donors or to a single parent who is genetically related to the child. If the intended parents are a couple (married or unmarried) and one of them is genetically related to the child, but one is not, then this will require a two-step process whereby the genetically related intended parent will be able to obtain a parentage order but the non-genetic parent will be required to complete a post-birth adoption.

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

      Most likely no, especially if the arrangement involved non-altruistic, compensated surrogacy

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

      It can take up to 6 months to receive the baby’s birth certificate. Same-sex parents are listed as Parent and Parent.

      International gay couples can obtain an initial birth certificate that names the biological father and gestational carrier if the biological father signs an affidavit at the hospital. But if the surrogate is married, a paternity hearing through the courts will be required. They can subsequently obtain a birth certificate that names the biological father or both fathers only, with no mention of the gestational carrier, if the surrogate terminates her parental rights and the non-genetic father obtains a second-parent adoption.

    • Are post-birth adoptions permitted?


    • Are second-parent adoptions permitted?

      Second parent adoptions are permitted and available to unmarried couples (except for the district court located in Brooklyn, which does not grant second-parent adoptions to same-sex couples who were already named on the pre-birth parentage order).

    • Are stepparent adoptions permitted?

      Stepparent adoptions are permitted and 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.