GESTATIONAL SURROGACY IN GEORGIA
Gestational Surrogacy is permitted in Georgia because no statute or published case law prohibits it.
PRE-BIRTH PARENTAGE ORDERS
Do courts grant pre-birth parentage orders? Yes
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, but careful documentation of the legal rights to the embryos during IVF is required.
- 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, but careful documentation of the legal rights to the embryos during IVF is required.
- Same-sex couple: Same as above
- Single parent: Same as above
What are the bases for venue? County of the Intended Parents’ residence, county of the Gestational Carrier’s residence, county of the child’s birthplace, or county of the embryo transfer.
Do results vary by county? Yes. Although most judges are open to granting pre-birth orders for Gestational Surrogacy, there are some counties where this has not been done before because judges have issues with granting such an order. Procedures may also vary.
Is a hearing required to obtain a pre-birth order? Usually, but it varies by judge and by circumstances. Some judges allow the parties to appear by telephone, especially those who are not local.
Is a pre-birth order possible in Georgia based on a Gestational Carrier’s plan to deliver in Georgia, if no party lives in Georgia? Yes
Will Georgia Vital Records honor a pre-birth order from another state? Yes, most likely, and definitely if the order is domesticated in Georgia.
What is the typical time frame to obtain a birth certificate after delivery? Two weeks, or approximately one week if expedited
SAME SEX COUPLE
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, but it should be obtained in conjunction with a court order that clearly states that the Gestational Carrier is not the mother and is not responsible for the care or medical bills of the child. It also would require a subsequent court order to remove the surrogate from the birth certificate
Can they subsequently obtain a birth certificate naming only the biological father or both fathers, with no mention of the Gestational Carrier? Yes, an amended birth certificate is possible with appropriate orders.
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 Georgia (i.e., neither of the Intended Parents lives in Georgia)? No
If no, will Georgia Vital Records honor a second-parent adoption order from another state and add the second parent to the birth certificate? Yes, most likely
SECOND PARENT & STEPPARENT ADOPTIONS FOR GEORGIA RESIDENTS
Note: This situation typically arises if the child is born outside of the state. The parents then return to Georgia to obtain a second parent adoption or stepparent adoption in Georgia.
Will courts in Georgia grant second parent adoptions or stepparent adoptions to heterosexual couples living in Georgia? It varies by circumstances.
Does the couple need to be married? Usually
Will courts in Georgia grant second parent adoptions or stepparent adoptions to same-sex couples living in Georgia? It depends on the judge.
Does the couple need to be married? Usually.
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, a statute dating from 1964 provides that when a child is born to a married couple as result of artificial insemination performed by a physician, the husband is recognized as the father. In addition,when a child results from an embryo donation, Georgia Statute § 19-8-41 makes clear that any resulting child shall be presumed to be the child solely of the Intended Parents. Therefore, the embryo donor, any prior sperm donor, and any prior egg donor are not parents.
If the statute only refers to sperm donors, is there a case law interpreting this statute to provide the same protection in the egg donor context? Yes, both statutes have been extended to apply in cases involving egg donation.
TRADITIONAL SURROGACY IN GEORGIA
Traditional Surrogacy is permitted because no statute or published case law prohibits it. In practice, the biological father is permitted to establish paternity pre-birth, while the non-biological parent is required to wait until post-birth and obtain a stepparent or second parent adoption.
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