Video: International IPs and the Legal Process: Pre-Birth Order

Author: GSHC Surrogacy


Attorney Casey O’Connell of Falletta & Klein in San Diego, California answers common questions about the Pre-Birth Order (PBO) process for international Intended Parents.

What is a Pre-Birth Order (PBO) and when is it established?

A Pre-Birth Order or PBO is the legal result issued by a judge which confirms that the Intended Parents (IPs) are the legal parents of the child and the the Surrogate (and her spouse, if applicable) are NOT the legal parents of the child.

The judgment is first requested by the IPs’ legal representation around the 15th-18th week of gestation. Typically, the judgment is entered by the court around the 25th-28th week of gestation. It is extremely important that you maintain a consistent line of communication with your agency and your attorney to ensure a timely PBO judgment.

How long does the PBO process take?

The PBO process can last 2-3 months. Once the IP’s legal representation has been informed of the Surrogate’s pregnancy, they will issue a questionnaire to the agency and Surrogate to gather all necessary legal information for all parties. Once this information is returned, the judgment documents are drafted by the attorneys.

After the parties sign these documents, they are filed with the court. There is no hearing or additional steps at this point. Your attorney will inform you when the judgment has been issued.

Can a PBO be established after delivery?

Yes. Under California law, a PBO judgment can be issued before or after the baby is born.

How can international Intended Parents establish parental rights in their home country?

Every country is unique regarding the laws of parental rights.

Once the child is born in the United States, the U.S. will recognize the Intended Parents as the legal parents of that child. Now, the IPs must “register” their child with their home government.

Intended Parents take the judgment issued in the United States back to their home country and complete paperwork upon their return. Parental rights in some countries may vary greatly depending on several factors including: relationship status, sexual orientation, and genetics. Always check with a licensed attorney in your home country well in advance of your surrogacy journey to make sure that you are aware of these risks.

Can same-sex international couples be listed on the birth certificate?

This is dependent on the home country. In some cases, the United States birth certificate can be amended afterward in the IP’s home country to reflect their situation. Always consult with a licensed attorney in your home country prior to starting your surrogacy journey.

View the full interview with Casey O’Connell HERE

If you are considering surrogacy, please contact GSHC Surrogacy Agency by completing our Intended Parent Intake Form, call us at 310.953.0137, or send an email to [email protected] to learn more about how we can help you achieve your dream of starting a family!