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GESTATIONAL SURROGACY IN TEXAS

Gestational Surrogacy is permitted by Texas by Tex. Fam. Code§ 160-751 through § 160-763 which authorizes Gestational Surrogacy for married Intended Parents who follow the procedures specified in the statute, including having their Gestational Carrier agreement validated by a court before birth.

PRE-BIRTH PARENTAGE ORDERS

Do courts grant pre-birth parentage orders?  Yes, so long as it is done pursuant to the statutory validation procedure.
 
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, some courts may allow, even though the statute only refers to a married couple.
  • Unmarried heterosexual couple using an egg donor or sperm donor: Same as above.
  • Same-sex couple using an egg donor or sperm donor: Same as above
  • Single parent using own egg or sperm: Yes, some courts may allow.


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, some courts may allow.
  • Same-sex couple: Yes, if married
  • Single parent: Yes, some courts may allow.

 
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, or any county that has the consent of all parties.    
 
Do results vary by venue?  Yes
 
If yes, are motions to waive venue accepted?  Waiving venue is unnecessary because there are no restrictions on venue, so long as the parties meet the jurisdiction requirements.
 
Is a hearing required to obtain a pre-birth order?  Yes. Some courts require the Intended Parents and the Gestational Carrier to appear for a pre-birth validation of the Gestational Carrier agreement, but others do not. Hearings are not required for post-birth parentage orders.
 
Is a pre-birth order possible in Texas based on a Gestational Carrier’s plan to deliver in Texas, if no party lives in Texas?
 No
 
Will Texas Vital Records honor a pre-birth order from another state?  Unclear.
 
What is the typical time frame to obtain a birth certificate after delivery?  About 1 month is typical, but this can be shortened to 1 week if it is expedited.

Same-Sex Couples

How are same-sex parents named on the final birth certificate?  If married, both parents are named on the birth certificate and can choose Parent and Parent OR Father and Father. If not married, only the biological parent is named on the birth certificate.
 
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 in a same-sex couple obtain a second parent adoption based solely on the fact that the child was born in Texas (i.e., neither of the Intended Parents lives in Texas)?  Yes if married    
 
If no, will Texas Vital Records honor a second parent adoption order from another state and add the second parent to the birth certificate? 
Yes

SECOND PARENT & STEPPARENT ADOPTIONS FOR TEXAS RESIDENTS

Note: This situation typically arises if the child is born outside of the state. The parents then return to Texas to obtain a second parent adoption or stepparent adoption in Texas.
 
Will courts in Texas grant second parent adoptions or stepparent adoptions to heterosexual couples living in Texas?  Yes.
Does the couple need to be married?   Yes, but there are limited exceptions.
 
Will courts in Texas grant second parent adoptions or stepparent adoptions to same-sex couples living in Texas?  Yes
Does the couple need to be married?  Yes, but there are limited exceptions.

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, Tex. Fam. Code§ 160.702 states:  “A donor is not a parent of a child conceived by means of assisted reproduction.”

TRADITIONAL SURROGACY IN TEXAS

Traditional Surrogacy in Texas is treated like an adoption. Everything is filed after the child is born.

State law information provided by the following attorneys practicing Reproductive Law in this state:
 
Simi Denson, Attorney at Law, P.C.
Austin, TX
simi@simidenson.com
www.simidenson.com
(512) 788-5223
 
David Cole
Dallas, TX
adoptlegal@aol.com
(214) 363-5117
 
Winifred Huff
Dallas, TX
Winnie@calabresehuff.com
(214) 939-3000

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