Legality of Surrogacy in New Hampshire
New Hampshire has a modernized gestational surrogacy law that has been used as a model by other states seeking to improve their own laws. We know the details of this law inside and out because it was co-written by one of our Directors (Catherine Tucker).
The New Hampshire law sets forth a specific process that you and your surrogate must follow before the embryo transfer takes place. By following this framework, intended parents automatically become the legal parents of the resulting child (it’s nice to have such an easy process!). We will walk you through this process step-by-step.
You will need to participate in an in-person mental health consultation before your transfer cycle can proceed. This gives you a chance to talk with a social worker about the unique issues involved with a surrogate pregnancy. Because this meeting needs to be done in-person under New Hampshire law, we recommend scheduling it early in the process. Your surrogate will also have an opportunity to talk with a mental health professional at the time she does her full mental health evaluation.
We pre-screen our surrogate candidates to make sure they meet the basic requirements of the New Hampshire law before we place their profiles into our matching pool. The final step of the required screening process—the medical evaluation—will take place at your IVF clinic.
After your surrogate is cleared by your IVF clinic, it’s legal contract time. Your attorney will draft up the contract, in compliance with the specific New Hampshire requirements, and go over it with you in detail. Your surrogate’s attorney will then review the contract with her. Once everyone agrees on the final contract language, the contract gets executed (a fancy word for “signed”). And you are good to go for embryo transfer.
A few months later, generally during the second trimester of the pregnancy, the lawyers will prepare paperwork for the parentage order from the court. This parentage order will secure your legal rights and direct that only your name be placed on the baby’s birth certificate. If the paperwork submitted to the court shows that the proper procedure was followed, the judge signs off on the parentage order.
Generally, this process is completed without you (or your surrogate) having to attend a court hearing. By law, the court files are confidential and cannot be accessed by anyone else. Your birth certificate will be mailed to you a few weeks after the birth (if you need the birth certificate sooner, we can help have it expedited for you).