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Texas Surrogacy Law Overview

The Center for Surrogate Parenting walks you through Texas 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 Texas surrogacy law. In fact, the Center for Surrogate Parenting (CSP) has completed over 60 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 Texas 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?

      Surrogacy is an accepted and common practice in the state of Texas. Although Texas surrogacy laws only apply to married intended parents specifically, Texas courts have upheld and validated surrogacy agreements involving unmarried couples and single parents.

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

      Statutory law permits gestational surrogacy arrangements and sets forth the requirements for a valid and enforceable surrogacy contract.

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

      Texas courts are typically favorable towards surrogacy arrangements.

    • Is commercial surrogacy legal?

      Commercial surrogacy is legal in Texas 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?

      Since there are no laws in Texas that expressly prohibit traditional surrogacy, it is technically not illegal. However, traditional surrogacy is treated like an adoption in the state and requires parentage to be established pursuant to post-birth adoption proceedings rather than through a parentage order, meaning that pre-birth orders are not available in such cases.

    • Is gestational surrogacy allowed?


    • What are the requirements for an enforceable surrogacy contract?

      A surrogacy contract shall be binding and enforceable if it is in writing and signed by all parties. Either the surrogate or the intended parents have resided in Texas for at least 90 days. The intended parents are married, the surrogate meets specific requirements, and the parties have independent legal counsel. The agreement should 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?

      Pursuant to the applicable statutes, a pre-birth order may be granted so long as the gestational carrier agreement is first found by a Texas court to comply with the statutory requirements and is validated. Although the statute only refers to married intended parents, some courts may nevertheless grant pre-birth parentage orders to unmarried parents, regardless of the genetic connection to the child.

    • Can both intended parents be declared the legal parents?

      Yes, if the intended parents are a married heterosexual or same-sex couple, even if neither is genetically related to the child. Maybe (depends on court and judge) if the intended parents are an unmarried couple (whether one, both or neither is genetically related to the child).

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

      It is unknown.

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

      The intended parents will receive the birth certificate within 1 month, or 1 week if they expedite it. 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. They can obtain an initial birth certificate that names the biological father only. They can subsequently obtain a birth certificate that names both fathers only, with no mention of the surrogate.

    • 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.

    • 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.