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  • Writer's pictureRalph M. Tsong

How do I get a PBO in Illinois?

illinois pboillinois pbo

In Illinois, there is a specific legal process to establish a parent-child relationship when using a gestational surrogate for childbirth. It differs from the other states we have covered like California and Washington. The Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act, the Illinois Parentage Act of 2015, the Illinois Vital Records Act, and the Illinois Vital Records Code provides a means to bypass courts completely. Most intended parents will not need a court order in Illinois and can use the certification process to place their names on the original birth certificate of the child. 

A few things to note: Illinois requires that at least one of the intended parents must be a biological parent. Illinois also requires the attorneys certify that the requirements for surrogacy in Illinois were complied with.  

What to do? 

When the surrogate is pregnant, usually around 16 weeks or later, one attorney will begin preparing the Illinois certifications for the parties to sign.  

Legal representation for both the intended parents and gestational surrogate is required at the contract stage, and both attorneys must sign separate certified statements. All involved parties, including spouses/partners, must sign certified statements consenting to the intended parents’ parentage. Also, a licensed physician licensed in the state in which the egg was inseminated or the embryo was transferred, must attest that the child being carried by the gestational carrier is the biological child of the intended mother and/or father, and that it is not the biological child of the gestational carrier. This physician is usually the IVF physician that did the transfer, since they would have knowledge of these facts.  Previously Illinois had extra steps for physicians licensed outside of Illinois, but they now accept out-of-state physicians’ certifications.  

These certified statements are published by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and can be found on their website.  Illinois requires that original copies of the certified statements be delivered to the hospital’s director of medical records before the child is born. It is a good idea to have each person sign multiple copies of the certified statements in case one or more copies is lost.  

What information is needed?  Illinois requires less information for their PBO process than Washington or California. Their forms require full names of all parties, including names before marriage, and addresses of GC and IPs. The signing physician will need to list their medical license number and location of IVF clinic. Both attorneys will list who they are representing and their state bar number. They will need to include their office address and contact number. It is important to remember that Illinois requires two witnesses for the signing process. No notarized statements are required, but the witnesses should be over the age of 18 and not a party to the agreement.   

Next Steps 

Illinois does not charge a filing fee for certified statements. This is drastically different from other states with a court process. Once all the certified statements are signed and returned to the attorney who prepared them, a copy will be either mailed or emailed to the Illinois Department of Public Health. The gestational surrogate will be provided with an original copy of the statements to bring to the hospital in case the hospital loses their original copy. The hospital will mail these original statements to the Department of Public Health with the birth certificate worksheet. 

If the birth occurs in a different Illinois hospital than originally planned, it is crucial to inform the birth clerk about the surrogate parentage statements. If the birth does not occur in Illinois, then the certified statements will have no effect. They will only be valid if the birth occurs in Illinois.  

If you need help with a surrogacy journey in Illinois, please contact Tsong Law Group. We are licensed in Illinois and recognized as AAAA fellows in the field of surrogacy and other ART arrangements and will ensure the protection of your rights and interests. 


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