If you're considering a California surrogacy journey, you're in luck. It's one of the most accessible states for intended parents and surrogates alike.
The good news is that California simplifies the process for determining a child's parentage beforehand, and it also protects the rights of both parties in a surrogacy arrangement.
Still, the surrogacy journey is lengthy!
With many winding turns, it's always worth the effort when you see the joy on the faces of the intended parents who gaze at their little bundle of joy for the first time!
Here's what you should know about surrogacy in California.
What is the California surrogacy process like?
First and foremost, the initial step is taking the time to carefully consider whether or not you’re ready for the surrogacy journey. Success doesn’t happen overnight, and the process can take a year or more if you include the time the surrogate will be pregnant.
After that, the next step is to choose what type of surrogacy would work best!
Your two options include traditional surrogacy or gestational surrogacy; however, traditional surrogacy is tricky because the mother will use her own eggs to get pregnant via intrauterine insemination.
There's nothing wrong with intrauterine insemination, of course!
With gestational surrogacy in California, the surrogate will share no genetics with the child whatsoever. As such, many people turn to surrogacy agencies for valuable guidance when they're not sure exactly how to choose.
What makes surrogacy in California different from other states?
The main difference between surrogacy in California and the same type of contracts in other states is this: California family law clearly covers the most vital details of a surrogacy contract.
That's right! There’s no need to file for pre-birth parentage hearings, and same-sex couples have the same rights with no restrictions. There’s also no requirement for the intended parents to be married.
When making a surrogacy contract in California, the law requires both parties to have their own legal representation, so there’s no semblance of a conflict of interest. California surrogacy law outlines what the surrogacy contract must contain, including the need for adoption proceedings if the intended parents’ surrogate gives birth out-of-state.
This is a pretty minor legal hurdle, but it’s a detail best sorted out in the contract phase before the baby’s birth!
California surrogacy laws and protections
As another interesting fact: did you know that California's surrogacy institution is more friendly to international surrogates than are other states?
All benefits that apply to California intended parts also apply to international intended parents who reside in the state for whatever reason. In other words, the law makes no distinction between intended parents’ current citizenship status, and it doesn’t force them to provide visas or other documentation.
Unfortunately, not every state shares this same surrogacy characteristic!
In fact, some international surrogates must go through adoption proceedings to take custody of the newborn and move out of the country. The issue at hand is that state laws vary widely regarding surrogacy, and just because it's legal doesn't mean that strict mandates don't exist.
This of course leads many international intended parents to choose California for the surrogacy journey, or at least one with similar surrogacy laws! Being afforded the same legal protections regarding surrogacy as U.S. citizens saves headaches and gray hairs!
We briefly touched upon the subject before, but same-sex couples enjoy the same legal safeguards as traditional couples too. Not every state has similar stipulations. Many outright ban surrogacy for same-sex couples regardless of marital status or the ability to raise a healthy child; it's banned on principle alone.
Does insurance cover surrogacy in California?
The type of health insurance you have may already exclude surrogacy expenses, however, if it isn't specifically excluded, then insurance coverage for surrogacy in all likelihood applies in some shape or fashion.
It's always best to check with your insurance provider to find our if insurance covers surrogacy journeys!
That's why some states require the surrogate to pay for her own health insurance, but in others, you can purchase special riders or term coverage to include surrogate maternity expenses over a certain period. The catch is that these add-ons will be on the expensive side compared to other health insurance perks! Yet, if you have a premium insurance policy with comprehensive benefits, it's worth looking into whether or not the entire surrogacy will be covered.
Nevertheless, if you get stuck or not 100 percent certain, please follow up with us to help guide you in your conversations with your insurance provider. You'll still be in control of the process, and that's what's great about working through an experienced surrogacy agency instead of trying to do it all alone!
Ready to start your surrogacy journey? Contact us to speak with an experienced surrogate, or apply today!
We're a boutique surrogate agency specializing in quickly matching intended parents around the world with our fully-vetted, exceptional surrogates.
We help individuals and couples, regardless of race or sexual orientation, build their families through the miracle of surrogacy.
Every team member at SurrogateFirst is either a former intended parent or an experienced surrogate herself. We also have first-hand knowledge of what it takes to have an incredible, successful surrogate journey.
Speak with one of our wonderful surrogacy coordinators today and learn more about how to become a surrogate!