Center for Surrogate Parenting - An Ovation Company Logo

Ohio Surrogacy Law Overview

The Center for Surrogate Parenting walks you through Ohio 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 Ohio surrogacy law. In fact, the Center for Surrogate Parenting (CSP) has completed nearly 100 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 Ohio 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 Ohio published case law, which ruled that gestational surrogacy is not against public policy. Thus, properly prepared surrogacy contracts are enforceable in the state of Ohio.

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

      Ohio case law permits gestational surrogacy.

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

      It varies by county and by judge, but typically, Ohio courts are usually favorable towards surrogacy arrangements.

    • Is commercial surrogacy legal?

      Commercial surrogacy is legal in Ohio 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?

      Traditional surrogacy is neither statutorily permitted nor prohibited in Ohio, thus it is legal. However, the lack of direct statutory law or published case law on the topic makes it more of a risk for intended parents. The enforceability of traditional surrogacy contracts in Ohio depends on the judge.

    • Is gestational surrogacy allowed?


    • What are the requirements for an enforceable surrogacy contract?

      Since Ohio 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 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?

      Pre-birth parentage orders can be obtained by any intended parent in most circumstances, regardless of sexual orientation, marital status or the genetic relationship to the child. However, the results vary by judge and county.

    • Can both intended parents be declared the legal parents?

      It varies substantially by county and judge. However, yes if the intended parents are married or if the intended parents are an unmarried couple and both are genetically related to the child.

      If the intended parents are unmarried and only one or neither is genetically related to the child, then it will vary by judge whether both intended parents will be declared the legal parents on a pre-birth order.

    • 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 intended parents will receive the birth certificate in 1 to 6 months, but they can expedite the process. Same-sex parents will be named as Parent, Mother or Father.

      International gay couples can obtain an initial birth certificate that names the biological father and gestational carrier, but it will depend on the county. 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. However, only married intended parents can file for adoption in Ohio because the state only allows for stepparent adoptions and does not permit second parent adoptions.

    • Are second-parent adoptions permitted?

      Second-parent adoptions are not permitted in Ohio, so unmarried intended parents will be required to pursue a second-parent adoption outside the state in order to secure his or her legal parental rights.

    • Are stepparent adoptions permitted?

      Yes, and they are available to married couples. However, a stepparent adoption should not be necessary in most circumstances where the intended parents have executed a valid and properly drafted surrogacy contract.

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.