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Surrogacy in Baltimore
Surrogacy is an advanced assisted reproduction technique in which one woman, called a surrogate, carries a child for a woman or couple who cannot conceive. Many women or couples turn to surrogacy when first-line fertility treatments have failed.
There are two types of surrogates: a traditional surrogate and a gestational surrogate. Traditional surrogates are inseminated with sperm, which can come from a sperm donor or from the male intended parent. Because the surrogate’s own eggs are fertilized, the resulting child biologically will be related to the surrogate. In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate is implanted with an embryo, which can come from the intended parents or from other donors. Because the surrogate’s eggs are not used in gestational surrogacy, the child will not be related to her biologically.
Surrogacy Laws in Baltimore, MD
Maryland law on surrogacy is unclear; like many states, Maryland does not have any laws that specify the legality of surrogacy or surrogacy agreements. However, related law seems to hold compensated surrogacy agreements unenforceable.
Maryland law prohibits payment for adoption services, which includes the purchase of minors. However, it is not clear whether this applies to surrogacy agreements. In 2000, an opinion by the Maryland Attorney General indicated that surrogacy agreements in which the birth mother was paid a fee are unenforceable under Maryland law. This also may indicate that uncompensated surrogacy agreement would not be considered illegal.
Maryland courts have not yet considered surrogacy agreements for lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered individuals. However, there is no explicit prohibition on these couples jointly adopting a child or adopting the child of their same-sex partner.
Surrogacy Agencies in Baltimore
Intended parents can work with surrogacy agencies to match them up with a potential surrogate. Be sure to do your research before you commit to your surrogacy agency. Don’t hesitate to ask a number of questions, like how long the surrogacy agency has been in operation, what surrogate screening procedures are in place, and is included in the final cost.
The following Baltimore surrogacy agencies work with Maryland residents:
- Center for Surrogate Parenting, Inc.
- Egg Donor Surrogacy USA