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Surrogacy in

Maryland

Gestational Surrogacy Law in Maryland

Maryland is a light green state!

The state of Maryland allows for gestational surrogacy under case-law and practice, including for singles, unmarried couples, those using their own gametes or donor egg, sperm, or embryo. Maryland is an LGBTQ friendly state. Intended Parents are able to obtain a Pre-Birth Order.

Gestational Surrogacy was implicitly approved by the highest court in Maryland in In re Roberto d.B. (2003), when it ruled that a trial court erred when it refused to allow a Gestational Carrier to remove her name as the “mother” from a birth certificate. Although the court specified that it was leaving surrogacy policy making to the legislature, the court’s ruling constitutes implicit approval of Gestational Surrogacy in Maryland.

How Parentage Works in Maryland: Pre-Birth Parentage Orders

Do courts grant pre-birth parentage orders?  Yes, but it varies by court.

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

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

What are the bases for venue? The county of the Intended Parents’ residence, the county of the Gestational Carrier’s residence, and (possibly in some courts) the county of the child’s birthplace

Do results vary by venue?  Yes

If yes, are motions to waive venue accepted?  Varies by judge

Is a hearing required to obtain a pre-birth order?  No

Is a pre-birth order possible in Maryland based on a Gestational Carrier’s plan to deliver in Maryland, if no party lives in Maryland? Unlikely in most courts

Will Maryland Vital Records honor a pre-birth order from another state? Most likely

What is the typical time frame to obtain a birth certificate after delivery?  4-10 days, if efforts are made to expedite the process.

Same-Sex Couple Surrogacy Laws

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 an international same-sex male couple obtain an initial birth certificate naming only the biological father? Yes

Can an international same-sex male couple subsequently obtain a birth certificate naming only the biological father and/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 when the child is born in Maryland but neither of the Intended Parents lives in Maryland? No

If no, will Maryland 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 Maryland Residents

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

Will courts in Maryland grant second parent adoptions or stepparent adoptions to heterosexual couples living in Maryland?  Yes
Does the couple need to be married?  No

Will courts in Maryland grant second parent adoptions or stepparent adoptions to same-sex couples living in Maryland?  Yes
Does the couple need to be married?  No

Egg and Sperm Dontation

Is there a statute or published case law that addresses the rights of a donor over the resulting eggs, sperm, embryo or child?  Yes, § 5-1001 of the MD Code excludes gamete donors from the definitions of father and mother.

Traditional Surrogacy in Maryland

Compensated Traditional Surrogacy is legally risky in Maryland. In a 2000 Opinion, the Attorney General concluded that Traditional Surrogacy for compensation violates Maryland adoption law, which prohibits payments to a birth mother other than medical expenses, legal expenses, adoption counseling expenses, and, under very limited circumstances, living expenses. The enforceability of a Traditional Surrogacy contract is therefore uncertain, and the Intended Mother would have to pursue an adoption to finalize her parental rights. Consequently, most attorneys will not handle Traditional Surrogacy cases.

Maryland Surrogacy Lawyers

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

1

Diane S. Hinson, JD

Creative Family Connections | Chevy Chase, MD | diane@creativefamilyconnections.com | https://www.creativefamilyconnections.com | (240) 235-6006

Meet Diane Hinson
2

Jennifer Ahern, JD

Creative Family Connections | Chevy Chase, MD | jennifer@creativefamilyconnections.com | https://www.creativefamilyconnections.com | (240) 235-6006

Meet Jennifer Ahern
3

Michelle Misler, JD

Creative Family Connections | Chevy Chase, MD | michelle@creativefamilyconnections.com | https://www.creativefamilyconnections.com | (240) 235-6006

Meet Michelle Misler
4

Peggy Swain

Baltimore, MD | swainlegal@gmail.com | (410) 583-0688

Other attorneys practicing Reproductive Law in this state:

1

Meryl B. Rosenberg, Esq.

Potomac, MD | Meryl@artparenting.com | http://www.artparenting.com/

2

Jennifer Fairfax

Silver Spring, MD | jennifer@jenniferfairfax.com | http://www.jenniferfairfax.com

3

Nicole K. White, Esq.

Bethesda, MD | nicole@kinseylawgroup.com | http://www.kinseylawgroup.com

4

Sherry Leichman

Rockville, MD | Washington, D.C. | Sherry@LeichmanSnyderLaw.com | http://www.LeichmanSnyderLaw.com/

5

Sogand Zamani, Esq.

info@zamaniassociates.com | www.zamaniassociates.com

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