New Hampshire Surrogacy: A Legal Overview For Intended Parents
I'm very excited to report that the New Hampshire surrogacy laws were overhauled in 2015 in conformance with best practices for gestational surrogacy. The current laws protect intended parents, gestational surrogates and the resulting children while allowing for New Hampshire residents to take advantage of advances in assisted reproductive technologies. Here's what you need to know about New Hampshire's surrogacy laws:
New Hampshire's surrogacy laws were brought into conformance with the state’s laws against discrimination. All intended parents can now participate in surrogacy arrangements in New Hampshire. The law no longer discriminates based upon the marital status or sexual orientation of the intended parents. This means the opposite-sex couples, same-sex couples and single individuals can all become parents through surrogacy in New Hampshire.
Written contracts are required for New Hampshire surrogacy arrangements. The law places very specific requirements upon the contents and execution of these contracts, and failing to follow these rules can impact not only the validity of your surrogacy contract and the resulting birth certificate but also your ability to obtain a parentage order.
Parentage Orders & Birth Certificates
Parentage orders are available using a simplified court process that does not involve having to attend a court hearing. These orders can direct that the names of only the intended parents be placed directly upon the child's birth certificate.
The surrogacy laws do not require the intended parents to have a genetic link to the child. This means that donor eggs, donor sperm and donor embryos may be used. Donors can be known or anonymous. The law does not require paternity testing before a birth order can be issued, which can be important for some gay couples.
The current New Hampshire surrogacy laws allow the surrogate to be compensated. All compensation must be reasonable and must also be written into the surrogacy contract.
Surrogacy agencies are permitted to operate in New Hampshire. This is in line with best practices, because surrogacy journeys are complicated and having experienced professionals guiding participants can be beneficial to everyone. Independent surrogacy is still permitted in New Hampshire and is often chosen by family members and close friends who are working together.
The New Hampshire surrogacy laws create a structured surrogacy process in New Hampshire. This structure best protects all the participants during the process, and replaces burdensome requirements such as home studies and complex court hearings.
Minimum Requirements for Surrogates
The surrogacy laws require prospective surrogate to be at least 21 years old and have given birth to at least one child previously. Prospective surrogates need to pass a medical exam to ensure that another pregnancy won't pose a risk to either themselves or the baby.
New Hampshire's laws distinguish between gestational surrogacy (where the intended mother's egg or donated eggs are used) and traditional surrogacy (which uses the surrogate's own eggs). The revised law only governs gestational surrogates (sometimes called "gestational carriers"). Traditional surrogacy is handled under a different legal process in New Hampshire.
For specific questions regarding New Hampshire law surrounding surrogacy, feel free to contact New England Surrogacy for a free consultation with Catherine Tucker or reach out to a local New Hampshire attorney who is familiar with surrogacy law!