The U.S. Supreme Court recently denied requests to hear two surrogacy cases, effectively upholding existing state laws in Iowa and California. These denials are “wins” for the surrogacy community, as the court’s refusal to hear and rule on the matters protects the rights of parents who expand their families through the use of surrogacy arrangements.
In the Iowa case, a married husband and wife entered into a surrogacy agreement with a gestational carrier. Using the husband’s sperm and a donor egg, the gestational carrier underwent in vitro fertilization (IVF) and delivered two babies. However, one of the twins died shortly after birth and the gestational carrier decided she wanted to keep the other child as her own. A custody battle ensued, and in February the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in favor of surrogacy contracts, awarding full, permanent custody to the intended parents. The U.S. Supreme Court denied the gestational carrier’s request to review that decision.
Similarly, the California case also dealt with a gestational carrier who changed her mind after giving birth and wanted to keep the children she delivered as a surrogate. Like the Iowa gestational carrier, the California woman entered into a surrogacy contract with a Georgia man, agreeing to undergo IVF with donor eggs and the man’s sperm. She delivered triplets and sued for parental rights to all three children. In her arguments, the mother claimed that surrogacy agreements were dehumanizing and unreasonably exploitative. Both California state and Federal courts held for the children’s father, upholding the constitutionality of California’s surrogacy laws and refuting the claims that surrogacy arrangements are against public policy. The U.S. Supreme Court’s denial ends these legal challenges, giving reassurances to individuals and couples who depend on surrogacy arrangements.
It’s important to note that, in both cases, the intended parents entered into formal surrogacy contracts with their gestational carriers; the outcomes might have been different had there not been formal arrangements in place. This is exactly why we aim to provide our clients with a straightforward breakdown of what might seem to be a complicated and daunting process so that they can enjoy the beautiful experience of bringing a child into the world through surrogacy. Contact us today to get started on your surrogacy journey!