What are the requirements for gestational surrogacy in Texas?
Congratulations on considering adding to your family through gestational surrogacy! Now you are probably asking yourself, “How do I create a gestational surrogacy agreement in Texas?” This is a life-changing decision for both you and your partner (if applicable) and to protect your rights in the process, you will definitely need to outline your gestational surrogate arrangements in a formal document called a Texas Gestational Surrogacy Agreement. When filed, this document will protect both your and your surrogate’s rights in the matter.
A gestational agreement in Texas will outline all the surrogacy arrangements, the rights and responsibilities of the parties involved, and establish legal parentage of the child. Married couples, same-sex couples, and single adults seeking to use a gestational surrogate in Texas for the purpose of adding a child to their family are permitted to do so, but they must carefully follow the laws governing Texas gestational agreements.
Texas gestational surrogacy statutes contain a well-defined process for creating a valid gestational agreement form for court approval. For a court in to grant approval of a Texas gestational agreement, the following basic criteria must be met:
The gestational mother must have already successfully given birth without complications, and another birth would not cause unreasonable risk to the child’s health or to that of the gestational mother, including her mental health.
The gestational surrogate cannot use her own eggs for the purpose of the surrogacy. The eggs must be from one of the intended parents or from a donor.
(For more info see: What is the difference between a traditional surrogate and a gestational surrogate?)
If more than one person will be an intended parent, the two people must be married.
Each intended parent, the surrogate (and her spouse, if married), and the egg donor (if applicable) must be parties to the gestational agreement and sign the agreement prior to its filing with the court.
The Texas gestational agreement must be signed at least 15 days before the transfer of any biological material to the mother for implantation or conception.
The surrogate must have full rights to make health decisions for herself and the embryo, which may not be transferred to the intended parents at any time during gestation (pregnancy).
The intended parent(s) must have lived in Texas for 90 days before a Texas gestational agreement is filed.
The intended parent(s) are unable to have a successful pregnancy or pregnancy would cause “unreasonable risk to her physical or mental health or to the health of the unborn child.”
There must be a section in the Texas gestational surrogacy agreement setting out who is responsible for medical expenses of the pregnancy, regardless of whether or not the agreement falls through.