Same-sex couples in Utah are celebrating a recent Utah Supreme Court decision which overturned an outdated state law governing surrogacy. That law prohibited same-sex couples from using surrogacy arrangements to start or add to their families, allowing surrogacy only under circumstances where an “intended mother is unable to bear a child or is unable to do so without unreasonable risk to her physical or mental health or to the unborn child.” For obvious reasons, the language of the law precluded gay men from becoming parents through surrogacy.
When the law was initially challenged by a gay couple who wanted to use a surrogate, the lower courts pointed to the law, holding that because there was no intended mother in the relationship, that the men could not legally enter into a surrogacy contract in Utah.
Thankfully, the state’s highest court ruled in favor of the couple, who are legally married, holding that the law should be applied with a gender-neutral interpretation instead of the strict interpretation of the word “mother” used by the lower courts.
This good news for Utah couples also serves as a great reminder for anyone considering a surrogacy arrangement: The importance of considering state law application and implications. Various states’ laws treat surrogacy arrangements differently, with nuances in some state statutes that could result in unintended frustration or complications at a time when intended parents should be excited about their families’ futures.
At The Surrogacy Law Center, we help protect intended parents’ rights – and the rights of their future children – through carefully negotiated and constructed surrogacy agreements. To learn more, contact us today.