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Surrogacy in San Diego, CA


Women who cannot conceive or carry a pregnancy to term may look to a surrogate to help them build their family. Surrogacy is an assisted reproductive technology in which a woman carries a child for a woman or a couple.

Couples can choose between traditional surrogacy or gestational surrogacy. A traditional surrogate is inseminated with sperm either from the male partner or from a donor. Because the surrogate uses her own eggs, the resulting child is related biologically to her.

Other couples choose gestational surrogacy, where the surrogate is inseminated with a embryo, either from the couple or from a donor. In this case, the child is not biologically related to the surrogate.

Some women choose a known surrogate, such as a family member or friend. For others who don’t feel comfortable asking someone they know, or who rather use an unknown donor, surrogacy agencies can match up the prospective parents with a surrogate.

Surrogacy Laws in California

While California has no specific laws directly related to surrogacy, court laws have ruled in favor of surrogacy agreements, including those which include gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender parents. The courts interpret these cases through California’s Uniform Parentage Act, which works to clarify who is considered the legal mother and legal father in certain situations.

California has influenced the rulings of other states regarding surrogacy issues. In 1993, the landmark surrogacy case Johnson v. Calvert ruled that the intended parents of a child born through gestational surrogacy were to be recognized as the natural and legal parents. The woman who intended to procreate—the intended mother whose eggs were implanted in the surrogate—was considered the natural mother.

California law has also continued to rule in favor of gay and lesbian couples in regards to surrogacy. The 2005 California Supreme Court companion case Elisa B. v. Superior Court, Kristine H. v. Lisa R. and K.M. v. E.G. ruled that two women can be considered the legal parents of children born through surrogacy under the Uniform Parentage Act.

San Diego Area Surrogacy Agencies

Surrogacy agencies in the San Diego area work with intended parents to match them up with surrogates, who are required to undergo rigorous psychological and physical tests. Some agencies specialize in surrogates for couples, individuals, or same-sex couples.

  • Conceptual Options: The Surrogacy & Egg Donation Center
  • Cori’s Egg Donor & Surrogate Services, Inc.
  • Extraordinary Conceptions
  • The Select Surrogate
  • Surrogate Alternative, Inc.

Research each organization carefully before you make your surrogacy agency choice. Ask the agencies questions like how long they have been in business, what kind of screening they require for surrogates, and what is the breakdown of fees and other responsibilities. Surrogacy is considered the most legally-complex form of ART, so it is a good idea to retain the services of a lawyer who specializes in surrogacy law or reproductive law.