Lets face it; many states still come up short when it comes to surrogacy laws. For example, it’s still illegal to be a surrogate in such states as New York, Michigan and Utah. Other states have no laws, like Pennsylvania.
One state has taken a step forward on this front: Illinois.
Often ranked behind California (which uses case law) as a destination for surrogacy, Illinois is becoming the magnet state for surrogacy due to the Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act. Passed in 2005, its purpose is to protect the surrogate and make the entire process easier for intended parent(s). Here a few aspects of the act you should know about:
No residency requirements are imposed by the act for intended parent(s).
Surrogates aren’t required to live in Illinois; they only must give birth in Illinois for the act to be enforced.
Intended parent(s) do not have to be married.
At least one of the gametes (egg/sperm) must be contributed by an intended parent.
The gestational surrogate must be at least 21 and have given birth to at least one child.
· Both intended parents and surrogates must complete medical and mental health evaluation.
The names of the intended parent(s) are entered on the child’s birth certificate.
Programs like The Surrogacy Advantage aim to help intended parent(s) and surrogates meet the legal guidelines for surrogacy births in Illinois.
So if you are looking for a surrogate or thinking of becoming one, you’re best advised to research the laws in your state or surrounding states before jumping into a contract. You never know what you may be getting yourself into. At least in Illinois you have the law on their side.