Surrogacy is a complex process that requires legal and medical expertise. It’s no wonder many agencies require surrogates to be U.S citizens or green card holders to protect the surrogate and her family from complicated situations such as deportation during the process of giving birth for the intended parents.
It is not easy to navigate surrogacy laws which vary wildly from state to state. The laws governing surrogacy are so convoluted and not universal, which can make them hard to understand. So, the process of becoming a surrogate mother can be quite complicated depending on where you live—with each state having its own requirements and no federal laws in place.
For example, compensated surrogacy is completely legal in California. However, Michigan and Nebraska ban the practice altogether. And, not to mention the many states that void and penalize surrogacy, void all surrogate contracts, prohibit some contracts and allow others, and those that allow but regulate surrogacy. As a result, most agencies require that a surrogate be either an American citizen or hold a green card from the United States.
Complications During the Legal Process
Because most surrogacy agreements involve compensation, becoming a gestational carrier is often considered a form of employment in the United States—meaning that, in most cases, surrogate pay is taxable income. In the instance that you are liable to pay taxes, you’ll need U.S. citizenship or a green card as a surrogate in this country.
Unfortunately, if a surrogate mother is unable to obtain a green card or citizenship here, she will not be covered by the laws set in place to protect surrogates, their families, the baby, and the intended parents.
There is a risk of deportation at any time during the pregnancy, which can leave hopeful parents wondering if they will ever get to see their baby. Surrogate pregnancies already come with challenges and risks of complications, so the added stress of not being a U.S. citizen is one you’ll want to avoid at all costs. And to make matters worse, without proper documentation, a surrogate mother can be more vulnerable to being used for forced labor, involuntary servitude, and even sex trafficking.
Although these risks sound intimidating, you’ll be completely protected as long as you have citizenship or a green card in the United States before beginning your surrogacy journey.
If you’re ready to begin the surrogacy process, we would love to help. We know that the legal process can be complicated and overwhelming, but our GSHC Surrogacy staff will oversee every step of the journey from beginning-to-end. For more information contact us today so that we can get you started on this incredible experience.