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Washington Surrogacy Law Overview

The Center for Surrogate Parenting walks you through Washington 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 Washington 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 Washington 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 expressly permitted by statute in Washington and surrogacy arrangements are now a common and accepted way to expand one’s family in the state.

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

      As of January 1, 2019, an updated and amended version of the Washington Uniform Parentage Act was enacted, which now permits compensated gestational surrogacy as well as traditional surrogacy arrangements that comply with the respective statutory framework.

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

      Following the enactment of Washington’s new surrogacy laws, the courts are now typically favorable towards surrogacy arrangements.

    • Is commercial surrogacy legal?

      Commercial surrogacy is legal in Washington 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, it is referred to as “genetic surrogacy” in Washington. Pre-birth parentage orders are unavailable in such cases, but post-birth orders are available following a 48-hour waiting period during which the time the surrogate may rescind the agreement.

    • 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, signed by all parties, notarized and executed prior to the start of any medical procedures. At least one of the parties must be a legal resident of Washington. The gestational carrier and intended parents must meet specific requirements and have independent legal counsel. The agreement must have provisions that discuss the legal, financial, and contractual rights, expectations, penalties and obligations of the surrogacy agreement.

    • Can both intended parents be declared the legal parents?

      Yes, if the statutory requirements are satisfied, both intended parents can be declared the legal parents in a pre-birth order or otherwise, regardless of sexual orientation, marital status, use of sperm or egg donation, or the genetic relationship to the child.

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

      Under the updated and amended Act, pre-birth parentage orders are also now available in gestational surrogacy cases to any intended parent, regardless of marital status, genetic connection to the child, or sexual orientation, so long as the gestational carrier agreement complies with the statutory requirements. Enforcement of a pre-birth order is stayed until the child is born.

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

      It is unclear, but possibly (administrative rulemaking is underway).

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

      It takes up to 2 weeks for the intended parents to receive the birth certificate. Same-sex parents are named as Parent and Parent.

      International gay couples might (most likely) be able to obtain an initial birth certificate that names the biological father and gestational carrier, but this has yet to be determined under the new statute. They might (most likely) be able to subsequently obtain a birth certificate that names the biological father or both fathers only, with no mention of the gestational carrier, but this has yet to be determined under the new statute.

    • Are post-birth adoptions permitted?

      Because the state’s statutory provisions regarding surrogacy arrangements are so inclusive and provide for the availability of pre- and post-birth parentage orders in nearly any scenario, post-birth adoptions are rarely necessary.

      Typically, a post-birth adoption will only be necessary where the intended parents are from Washington but complete a surrogacy arrangement in a different state where they are unable to obtain or secure their parental rights (by parentage order or adoption). In such a situation, the parents may complete a post-birth adoption in Washington.

    • 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.