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  • Writer's pictureRalph M. Tsong

Surrogacy Agreement Legal Requirements in California: What You Need to Know


california surrogacy agreement requirements

If you are considering surrogacy, California is one of the friendliest states in the United States and the first to recognize parentage through gestational surrogacy. However, before the actual embryo transfer procedure can take place with the surrogate, there are legal requirements that must be met with the surrogacy contract. California law requires the following:

  • The parties need to have a separate independent counsel of their own choosing.

  • The intended parents must be identified; they may not be anonymous.

  • The intended parents must state the source of the gametes (egg/sperm/embryo) (their own or from a donor). The name of the donor does not need to be listed.

  • All parties must sign the agreement before a public notary or international equivalent before starting injectable medication or the embryo transfer procedure. (Note, ask your attorney if a web notary is ok, as this may cause issues for some courts.)

  • There must be an explanation of who is paying for the medical expenses of the pregnancy and of the child, and a review of the surrogate’s insurance policy if any.

  • If there is a third-party facilitator (i.e., a surrogacy agency), then the funds must be held in an independent escrow account or in an attorney’s trust account.

kSatisfying all the requirements will allow the attorneys to seek a “Prebirth Order” (also known as a PBO) or a Judgment of Parentage. A certified copy of the Judgment of Parentage will be recognized by hospitals in California and by California Vital Records. Satisfying all the requirements will allow the attorneys to seek a “Prebirth Order” (also known as a PBO) or a Judgment of Parentage. A certified copy of the Judgment of Parentage will be recognized by hospitals in California and by California Vital Records.


The judgment may be recognized in other states if the surrogate lives in another state, though not every state. In California, the original birth certificate will list the intended parents as the parents and not list the surrogate’s name on the birth certificate.

Consult with a lawyer who has specific experience in surrogacy to ensure a seamless process. The attorneys of Tsong Law Group have extensive experience in the niche field of surrogacy law.

Don’t forget to tune in to our blog every Thursday for discussion of surrogacy agreement requirements in the states of NY, IL, WA, AZ, NY, and OK. If you need assistance with your surrogacy agreement, contact us today.

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon without additional research or consulting an attorney. This article is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship with the reader.

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