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Surrogacy in Philadelphia

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Surrogacy is an assisted reproduction technique in which one woman, known as the surrogate, carries a child for a woman or couple who cannot conceive. Surrogacy is usually an option when first-line fertility treatments have failed.

There are two types of surrogates. The first in called a traditional surrogate. Traditional surrogates are inseminated with sperm, which fertilizes their own eggs. This makes the resulting child biologically 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. In this type of surrogacy, the resulting child will not be related to the surrogate.

Surrogacy Laws in Philadelphia

Pennsylvania law on surrogacy is unclear. Like many states, Pennsylvania does not have any specific laws that deal with the legality of surrogacy or surrogacy agreements.

However, Pennsylvania case law appears to establish that compensated surrogacy agreements would be unenforceable. The 1997 Pennsylvania Superior Court case Ruth F. v. Robert B., Jr. referenced a New Jersey case which deemed compensated surrogacy agreements void under New Jersey law. The Pennsylvania court ruled that the bargaining of parental rights for financial consideration was “reprehensible,” and that “any agreement reached thereby would have been unenforceable.”

A more recent case in 2006 involved a gestational surrogate who sought custody of the triplets produced through her surrogacy. The case overruled the ruling of a lower court, on the grounds that the surrogate mother did not have the standing to seek custody for the children. However, the court made sure not to rule on the legality of surrogacy agreements.

Pennsylvania has no law prohibiting gay or lesbian couples from jointly adopting a child, and also has ruled that a same-sex partner can adopt the child of his or her partner.

Surrogacy Agencies in Philadelphia

Intended parents work with surrogacy agencies as a way to match up with a potential surrogate. It is important to research each surrogacy agency you are considering beforehand. Make sure to ask questions like how long the surrogacy agency has been in operation, what screening procedures are in place, and what the final cost would be.

The following Philadelphia surrogacy agencies work with Pennsylvania residents:

  • Center for Surrogate Parenting, Inc.
  • Surrogacy Agency NY (Philadelphia office)