Requirements of Surrogacy Agreements in Oklahoma
If you are considering a surrogacy journey in Oklahoma, this article will explain the state requirements. In 2019, Oklahoma passed the Oklahoma Gestational Agreement Act. Just like in California, Washington, Illinois, and New York, the statute allows individuals of any age or sexual orientation to build their families through surrogacy, but Oklahoma has limitations on unmarried couples and like Illinois, requires one parent with a genetic connection. Before starting a third-party reproduction journey, the legal aspect is one of the most important processes to ensure a smooth process.
Under the Oklahoma law, the surrogate must:
Be at least twenty-one (21) years of age at the time she enters into the gestational agreement;
Have given birth to at least one child;
Have been a resident of Oklahoma for at least ninety (90) consecutive days immediately preceding the date she enters into the gestational agreement, unless one or more intended parent has been a resident of Oklahoma for at least ninety (90) consecutive days immediately preceding the date the gestational carrier enters into the agreement;
Have completed a physical medical evaluation relating to the anticipated pregnancy; and
Have completed a mental health consultation.
If a surrogate has a partner but is not married, the partner does not need necessarily to join the surrogacy agreement.
Intended Parent Requirements
Meanwhile, the Oklahoma statute requires that the Intended Parents:
Have a declaration from a doctor that one or more intended parent is unable to carry a pregnancy to term and give birth to a child or is unable to carry a pregnancy to term and give birth to a child without unreasonable risk to the intended parent's physical or mental health or to the health of the unborn child;
Have made guardianship provisions for the prospective child by amending their existing estate planning documents or by executing estate planning documents containing such provisions if they previously had no existing estate planning documents.
Completed a mental health consultation.
The state also requires if there are two intended parents, they must be married to each other. The possible intended parent situations are: a single intended parent who is genetically related to the child, married heterosexual, and married same-sex IPs using their own egg/sperm.
Legal Procedure in Oklahoma
Subsequently, a Validation Order needs to be obtained by the attorneys before the embryo transfer. The administration of hormones or medications to aid in the production or vitality of gametes may begin before the Agreement is validated.
For good cause shown, a court may validate a gestational carrier agreement even if it was not validated at the time of transfer of gametes or embryos to the carrier, for the purpose of conception or implantation, and provided that the court finds that all other requirements need to validate a gestational agreement under this act have been satisfied.
Upon the birth of a child, if the agreement is validated, the intended parent shall be declared the sole legal parent of the child, be listed as the parent on the child's certificate of birth that is to be filed with the state registrar of vital statistics as provided by Oklahoma law, and neither the gestational carrier nor any spouse of the gestational carrier, if she becomes married prior to or within 270 days after the birth of the child, shall be listed on said certificate of birth. Intended parent shall also be declared to have the right to immediate custody of and access to the child upon birth, the right to name the child, the right to make all health care decisions regarding the child upon birth, and the right to be designated as the person to be issued armbands or other security devices identifying them as the parent of such child.
After birth, the intended parent(s) shall file a notice of birth with the court in as reasonably timely a manner as possible after the birth of the child or in compliance with local Court rules.
To terminate a gestational surrogacy agreement, Oklahoma provides that:
Any of the parties to a validated gestational agreement may seek to terminate the gestational agreement by first giving written notice of termination of the gestational agreement to each other party to the gestational agreement.
A person who sends the notice to terminate a validated gestational agreement shall file notice of the termination with the appropriate court.
Notwithstanding anything in this act to the contrary, within one (1) year of the termination of a gestational agreement, whether validated or not, any party to the gestational agreement may file a written petition with the court that terminated a gestational agreement seeking to reinstate the gestational agreement and requesting the court validate the gestational agreement.
Be sure to consult with a lawyer who specializes in surrogacy law so that you can ensure a smooth contract and parentage process. The attorneys of Tsong Law Group are experts in the areas of gamete donation and surrogacy and licensed in Oklahoma, California, Illinois, New York, Washington, and Arizona.
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.