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Surrogacy in St. Louis, MO
Women who cannot conceive or carry a pregnancy to term may look to surrogacy as a way to build their families. A surrogate is a woman who carries a child for another woman or a couple.
A surrogacy arrangement can take two forms: a traditional surrogacy or gestational surrogacy. Traditional surrogates use their own eggs in conceiving a child. They are inseminated by the intended parent's sperm (or a donor's sperm), and the resulting child shares half of the surrogate’s genetic information. Gestational surrogates do not use their own eggs. Instead, they are implanted with an embryo, and the resulting child biologically unrelated to the surrogate. Gestational surrogacy is more common today.
Surrogacy Laws in Missouri
Missouri is one of the over 30 states that have unclear or conflicting laws about surrogacy. Missouri law does not deal directly with the issue of surrogacy. However, since the law on surrogacy agreements is not explicitly defined, they may be considered a violation of the state’s “child trafficking” laws.
According to the Missouri Revised Statutes Chapter 568, it is a crime in Missouri to pay money for “delivery or offer of delivery of a child… for purposes of adoption, or for the execution of a consent to adopt or waiver of consent to future adoption or a consent to termination of parental rights.” It is possible that a surrogacy agreement that offers compensation may violate this statute, though it is not unclear if an uncompensated surrogacy agreement may be acceptable.
Currently, there are no laws that deal specifically with surrogacy agreements for lesbian or gay couples, nor are there explicit laws that rule against adoption or joint adoption by a gay or lesbian individual or couple.
Surrogacy Services in St. Louis
Surrogacy agencies and some fertility clinics provide surrogacy services.
The following surrogacy agencies work with clients in the St. Louis area:
- The Surrogacy SOURCE
Other couples may choose to work directly with a fertility clinic. The following fertility clinics in the St. Louis area work with surrogates:
- Fertility Partnership
- The Infertility and Reproductive Medical Center at Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital
- Infertility Center of St. Louis
- Sher Institute for Reproductive Medicine-St. Louis
A surrogacy agency or fertility clinic will match intended parents with surrogates. Before the match occurs, the surrogate will undergo vigorous emotional and physical screening, to make sure the surrogate is a good fit for the process.