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GESTATIONAL SURROGACY IN MAINE

Effective July 1, 2016, The Maine Parentage Act provides statutory permission to engage in gestational surrogacy in Maine. Title 19A, Chapter 61.

PRE-BIRTH PARENTAGE ORDERS

Do courts grant pre-birth parentage orders?  Yes, in almost every county.
 
Can both Intended Parents be declared the legal parents in a pre-birth order if at least one parent is genetically related to the child?
 

  • Married heterosexual couple using own egg and own sperm: Yes*
  • Married heterosexual couple using an egg donor or sperm donor: Yes*
  • Unmarried heterosexual couple using own egg and own sperm: Yes*
  • Unmarried heterosexual couple using an egg donor or sperm donor: Yes*
  • Same-sex couple using an egg donor or sperm donor: Yes*
  • Single parent using own egg or sperm: Yes*

*So long as requirements of statute are met


Can both Intended Parents be declared the legal parents in a pre-birth order if no parent is genetically related to the child?
 

  • Married heterosexual couple: Yes
  • Unmarried heterosexual couple: Yes
  • Single parent: Yes
  • Same-sex couple: Yes


Note: Title 19A, Sec. 1852 provides: Every child has the same rights under law as any other child without regard to the marital status or gender of the parents or the circumstances of the child's birth.

 
What are the bases for venue?  County of the Gestational Carrier’s residence, county of the Intended Parents’ residence, county of the child’s birthplace, and location of the medical procedures.
 
Do results vary by venue?  No
 
Are motions for venue accepted?  Usually
 
Is a hearing required to obtain a pre-birth order?  Typically yes, but not always
 
Is a pre-birth order possible in Maine based on a Gestational Carrier’s plan to deliver in Maine, if no party lives in Maine?  Yes, however one party must have a significant connection to Maine; such as a residence or medical procedures related to the pregnancy. A post birth order would be appropriate if the birth occurred in Maine and could be scheduled such that the initial birth certificate is correct.

 
Will Maine Vital Records honor a pre-birth order from another state? Yes, but the order must be domesticated by a Maine court.
 
What is the typical time frame to obtain a birth certificate after delivery?  1-2 weeks

Same-Sex Couples

How are same-sex parents named on the final birth certificate?  Parent and Parent
 
Can an international same-sex male couple obtain an initial birth certificate naming the biological father and Gestational Carrier?
 Yes 
 
Can they subsequently obtain a birth certificate naming only the biological father or both fathers, with no mention of the Gestational Carrier?
 Yes
 
Can the non-biological parent of a same-sex couple obtain a second parent adoption based solely on the fact that the child was born in Maine (i.e., neither of the Intended Parents lives in Maine)?  Yes

SECOND PARENT & STEPPARENT ADOPTIONS FOR MAINE RESIDENTS

Note: This situation typically arises if the child is born outside of the state.  The parents then return to Maine to obtain a second parent adoption or stepparent adoption in Maine.

Will courts in Maine grant second parent or stepparent adoptions to heterosexual couples living in Maine?  Yes

Does the couple need to be married?  No

 
Will courts in Maine grant second parent adoptions or stepparent adoptions to same-sex couples living in Maine?
  Yes

Does the couple need to be married?  No

EGG AND SPERM DONATION

Is there a statute or published case law that addresses the rights of a donor over the resulting eggs, sperm, embryo or child? Yes. Sec. 1922 provides: A donor is not a parent of a child conceived through assisted reproduction.

TRADITIONAL SURROGACY IN MAINE

Traditional Surrogacy is permitted in Maine if the gestational carrier enters into a contract with a family member. See Sec.1931(1)(E).[MM1] If it is not for a family member, it is still possible, but a formal adoption process must take place.


State law information provided by the following attorneys practicing Reproductive Law in this state:

Judith Berry

judithberryme@aol.com

(207) 839-7004 

Christopher Berry
cberry@cjberrylaw.com
(207) 839-7004

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