Minnesota has no statutes or published case law specifically permitting or prohibiting surrogacy.  Therefore, gestational surrogacy is legal and many intended parents have been successful in pursuing surrogacy to build their families.

Although the following guide can give you a better understanding of the general rules and regulations of surrogacy in Minnesota, it is not meant to be used as legal advice. It is important to consult with an experienced attorney to guide you through your unique journey.

Below is a list of some of the most frequently asked questions about surrogacy in Minnesota.

Minnesota State Seal

Is Gestational Surrogacy Legal in Minnesota?

Yes. Gestational Surrogacy is permitted because no statute or published case law prohibits it.

Is Traditional Surrogacy Legal in Minnesota?

Yes. Traditional surrogacy is not addressed in the state’s surrogacy statutes and is not statutorily prohibited. Traditional surrogacy is usually handled with a stepparent adoption after the baby is born, as the surrogate is considered “the birth parent” in this situation.

Is Compensated Surrogacy Legal in Minnesota?

Yes.  There are no surrogacy laws in Minnesota regulating the amount of compensation that a surrogate can receive for her services; this is something that is established when the surrogacy contract between surrogates and intended parents is drafted.  In addition to their base pay, surrogates are compensated for their time, the medical risks they accept, and the list of expenses below: 

  • Mock cycle compensation 
  • Embryo transfer compensation
  • Starting medication compensation
  • Monthly allowance for miscellaneous expenses
  • Monthly Housekeeping budget
  • Maternity clothing budget
  • Medical expenses
  • Travel to and from clinic/hospital
  • Lost wages if applicable
  • Child care if bed rest is required
  • Term life insurance
  • Medical insurance
  • Independent legal counsel
  • Psychological counseling
  • Other depending on agency

Creating a Minnesota Surrogacy Contract

There are no state regulations that address the process of creating surrogacy agreements in Minnesota.  Intended parents and surrogates must work with separate surrogacy attorneys to ensure both parties’ rights and interests are protected. These attorneys will negotiate an agreement that addresses at least the following:

  • The rights and responsibilities of each party
  • Any potential risks and liabilities and the steps to take should they occur
  • Surrogate compensation and other financial information, like surrogacy insurance 
  • Agreements on sensitive issues like selective reduction and termination
  • Contact expectations before, during, and after the surrogate pregnancy
  • The plan for the hospital delivery
  • And more

Once the contract agreed up and executed, the medical process of surrogacy can begin.  

Determining Legal Parentage in Minnesota

Parentage orders are generally available in Minnesota surrogacy, but the timing in which they are issued will depend upon the circumstances of the surrogacy and the overseeing court. Minnesota does not have a statute that governs surrogacy or that outlines parentage procedures following surrogacy or other assisted reproduction.  Some courts will only issue post-birth orders, while others will issue pre-birth orders; results vary greatly by judge. It is important that you work with an experienced Minnesota surrogacy attorney to give you a better idea of what the process of establishing parental rights will look like in your unique situation.


Same-Sex Surrogacy in Minnesota

Q: Is Same-Sex Surrogacy Legal in Minnesota?
A: Yes. Same-sex couples and LGBT+ intended parents have the same legal rights and will experience generally the same surrogacy process as opposite-sex couples, with the exception of likely requiring an egg donor or sperm donor to complete the IVF procedure. 

Q: Are There any Additional Laws Impacting Same-Sex Parenting in Minnesota?
A: No. There are no additional laws impacting same-sex parents in this state.


Q: Are Surrogacy Contracts (Whether Compensated or Altruistic) Enforceable in Minnesota?

A: There are currently no laws on the enforceability of Minnesota surrogacy contracts, although a report to the state legislature in 2016 did recommend for the enforceability of these contracts if they met appropriate standards.

Q: Are There Any Particular Laws for Parents Outside the U.S. Who Complete a Surrogacy in Minnesota?

A: No. There are no particular laws for parents outside the United States who complete a surrogacy in Minnesota.  It is important, however, that intended parents from another country speak with an immigration lawyer to ensure they follow the proper legal steps for taking their child home.

Q: When do Intended Parents Need to Complete an Adoption After Birth?

A: In Minnesota, some courts will allow genetically unrelated intended parents to obtain a pre- or post-birth order, but others will not. In these cases, the non-genetically related parent will need to complete an adoption after birth to establish their parental rights.  

Q: Does Minnesota Allow Second-Parent Adoptions? Who Would Need to Complete a Second-Parent Adoption vs. a Stepparent Adoption (If Applicable)?

A: Yes. Second-parent adoptions are available in Minnesota. Therefore, any unmarried intended parents who cannot obtain a pre-birth order or post-birth order will complete a second-parent adoption after birth, while married intended parents will complete a stepparent adoption.

Q: What Happens in Cases Where Intended Parents Use a Donor Egg, Sperm or Embryo?

A: This depends on the court overseeing the case. Some intended parents will be able to obtain a pre-birth order despite using a donor egg, sperm, or embryo, while others will need to complete an adoption after the child is born.  Regardless, a donor in a Minnesota surrogacy has no parental rights to any child born, as per state laws.


John Buchholz, J.D.
Minneapolis, MN
(612) 217-2137

David C. Gapen
Minneapolis, MN
(612) 284-9381

Jody Ollyver DeSmidt  
Minneapolis, MN
(612) 335-4284

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