What is the best state for surrogacy in the US?

UK intended parents at the early stages of planning US surrogacy often ask which US state is best to go to for surrogacy.


What are the most surrogacy-friendly US states for British parents?

California is known as one the most surrogacy-friendly states with long-established surrogacy laws. However, it is not the only one, and surrogates and agencies based in California may be more expensive than elsewhere. States like Nevada and Illinois are also known for their surrogacy-friendly laws, and there are many other states in which surrogacy is well supported, which gives you a wide range to choose from. One of the US agencies we work with has put together this map which gives a good overview.

In reality, US surrogacy journeys also often involve multiple states – you may choose an agency in one state, a fertility clinic in another and (if your agency has a wide reach in terms of its surrogate recruitment) your surrogate may live in a different state too. Choice of state (particularly for the birth) may not be your most important consideration in deciding who to work with. Making sure your surrogacy agency, fertility clinic, and US and UK legal team can give you the guidance and support you need is the key. The right team – wherever it is based – will understand you, including your visa requirements, legal issues like navigating parentage and citizenship, and be able to deliver the kind of personal and professional support you are looking for.


Which state should my US surrogate be based in?  Things to think about

The legal framework

One of the primary considerations when being matched with a surrogate is whether the legal framework in the state where she lives will work for your particular circumstances. As can be seen from the map, there are only a handful of states to avoid altogether (and in reality reputable surrogacy agencies won’t match intended parents with surrogates who live in those states). If you want to move forward quickly then it may not be sensible to narrow your options unnecessarily.

However, it is always important to get expert US legal advice to make sure that the state law in any place your potential surrogate is based will work for you in your particular circumstances. If you are single, unmarried, conceiving without a biological connection or have other nationalities which mean you need a particular form of court order, then your requirements may be more specific. High quality professional advice at the planning stages is key so you understand your options clearly.

Your personal preferences

Personal preferences play a significant role in your match too. Since the norm is for parents to arrive in the US 2 weeks before due date and stay 2-3 weeks post birth, you will be in the state where your child is born for quite a bit of time (parents also often visit during the pregnancy to meet their surrogate and her family in person and plan for the birth). Factors such as proximity to medical facilities, living expenses, travel distance, climate and cultural fit should all be considered. Some intended parents may prefer the hustle and bustle of urban areas like Los Angeles or Chicago, while others seek a quieter and more serene environment. Some have family, friends or offices in the US which they are keen to be nearby.

Costs, including insurance

Costs can vary significantly. States with higher living expenses, such as California have higher surrogate compensation rates, while states with lower living expenses, such as Illinois and Texas, may offer more affordable options.

Additionally, UK intended parents should be aware of differences in insurance coverage for surrogacy-related expenses between states, as this can impact the overall cost of the surrogacy journey.


How Brilliant Beginnings can help you understand your choices

Brilliant Beginnings specialises in connecting intended parents with trusted professionals across various states, ensuring a seamless and supported journey.

Choosing the right state for surrogacy in the US is just one of the many decisions you will need to make as part of a US surrogacy journey. Brilliant Beginnings is here to guide you every step of the way. With our expertise, specialist list of professionals and our support, you can embark on your surrogacy journey with confidence and peace of mind, knowing that although no journey is smooth there will always be options to navigate any issues that arise.

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