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Surrogacy in Utah
Women who are unable to conceive, or who cannot carry a pregnancy to term, may turn to surrogacy as a way to build their family.
Surrogacy can take one of two forms: traditional or gestational. In traditional surrogacy, a woman is inseminated with sperm, which fertilizes her own egg. The child is then biologically related to the surrogate. With gestational surrogacy, a woman is implanted with an embryo, which doesn’t use her own eggs. This child is not biologically related to her. Gestational surrogacy is the norm today.
Many couples choose to ask a friend or family member to function as their surrogate. If they do not feel comfortable doing so, surrogacy agencies can match up prospective parents with a surrogate.
Surrogacy Laws in Utah
Utah’s laws regarding surrogacy are modeled after Part 8 of the Uniform Parentage Act of 2002, and can be found in the Utah Code Annotated.
This code clearly allows for gestational surrogacy, in which the surrogate carries a biologically unrelated child. While surrogacy agreements are allowed, they are heavily regulated, and a number of terms must be met.
First, in order for a surrogacy agreement to be valid, it must be validated by court. The potential parents must be married to each other, and one of the parents must be biologically related to the child. The potential parents, and the surrogate, must be at least 21 years old and must attend counseling.
There are also stipulations related to the surrogate herself. The surrogate must have already had one pregnancy and delivery. Also, the surrogate will have control of all health-related questions and decisions that may come up throughout the pregnancy. Surrogates are allowed to receive payment, but it must be considered reasonable.
In order to meet Utah laws for surrogacy, both the potential parents and the surrogate must meet a residency requirement of 90 days.
While there is no explicit ban on homosexual parents in the surrogacy code, it appears that they would be excluded, since the potential parents must be married. Additionally, prior court rulings have ruled against equal parental rights for homosexual individuals and partners.
Salt Lake City Surrogacy Agencies
Surrogacy agencies match up surrogates with the potential parents, after the surrogate goes through rigorous psychological and physical tests. The following agencies handle surrogacy in the Salt Lake City area:
- Center for Surrogate Parenting, Inc.
- Future Families NW, LLC
The two fertility clinics in Salt Lake City both work with surrogates as well:
- Reproductive Care Center
- Utah Center for Reproductive Medicine
Surrogacy is considered the most legally complex of the assisted reproductive technology options, so it is recommended you retain the services of a lawyer who specializes in reproductive law to make sure your rights are represented.