Legal FAQ: Surrogacy in Maine
Updated: Jan 26, 2021
The legalities of surrogacy arrangements are complex. To better understand Maine surrogacy laws and the requirements for surrogacy contracts in Maine, I have provided answers to the most frequently asked questions below.
Is surrogacy legal in Maine?
Yes. Maine is a "surrogacy friendly" state. The Maine Parentage Act expressly permits surrogacy arrangements in Maine. This Act sets forth the requirements for individuals to be eligible to enter into surrogacy contracts, and provides a list of the requirements necessary for enforceability of a surrogacy contract. The Maine Parentage Act recognizes same sex couples and applies to all intended parents regardless of sexual identity or gender.
"Every child has the same rights under law
as any other child without regard
to the marital status or gender of the parents."
Is surrogacy for compensation (commercial surrogacy) permitted in Maine?
Yes. Surrogates in Maine can be compensated as long as the compensation is reasonable and negotiated in good faith. Altruistic surrogacy (surrogacy without compensation) is also permitted in Maine.
Is traditional surrogacy permitted in Maine?
Yes, but only under certain circumstances involving a familial relationship between the surrogate and an intended parent. Any other traditional surrogacy arrangement in Maine will require a formal adoption process.
Are surrogacy contracts valid and enforceable in Maine?
Yes. A surrogacy contract is enforceable if it meets all the requirements set forth in the Maine Parentage Act and complies with the principles of contract law.
What are the requirements for an enforceable surrogacy contract in Maine?
The Maine Parentage Act provides the requirements for an enforceable surrogacy contract in Title 19-A §1932. In order to enter a surrogacy contract, all parties must meet the eligibility requirements referenced above. In addition, all parties must have independent legal counsel to represent them in the drafting and negotiation of the contract, and to advise them of the potential legal consequences of the contract before it is executed. The surrogacy contract must be in writing, signed by all parties, and notarized and executed prior to any medical procedures contemplated therein. The contract must include provisions addressing the legal, financial, and contractual rights, duties, expectations, and obligations of the surrogacy agreement. It must require no more than a one year term to achieve pregnancy. At least one party to contract must be a Maine resident.
Surrogacy contracts are complex legal documents.
These contracts should always be drafted and negotiated by an attorney
specializing in assisted reproductive technology or artificial conception.
Failing to properly comply with the requirements set forth in the
Maine Parentage Act can lead to a multitude of legal issues for all parties.
Can both intended parents be legal parents of the child(ren) born via surrogacy?
Yes, both intended parents can be the legal parents of the child(ren) born via surrogacy regardless of marital status, sexual orientation, or genetic relationship to the child(ren).
Does being a same-sex couple or a non-binary intended parent have any legal consequence?
No. All intended parents are treated the same by Maine surrogacy laws regardless of sexual orientation or gender.
Are pre-birth orders and post-birth orders permitted in Maine?
Yes. In Maine, pre-birth parentage orders and post-birth parentage orders may be obtained by any intended parent so long as all the contractual requirements for a valid surrogacy arrangement are satisfied.
Will Maine honor a pre-birth order issued by another state?
Yes, but if a pre-birth order is issued by another state it must be domesticated by a Maine court.
Who will appear on the birth certificate? What will it say?
In Maine, the legal parents of the child at the time of birth will appear on the birth certificate. Parents of the same gender will be named "Parent" and "Parent" on the birth certificate.
Are there any additional laws for intended parents outside the United States who complete a surrogacy in Maine?
No. As long as the surrogate is a legal resident of Maine intended parents living outside of the United States can complete a surrogacy in Maine.
If you have questions about surrogacy arrangements in Maine,
please reach out to Janene Oleaga, Esq.
This article contains general information about Oleaga Law, LLC and
surrogacy arrangements in Maine. Neither this article nor its contents should be construed as legal advice. An attorney-client relationship is not created by viewing this article or this website, nor by sending any communication via this website or directly to Oleaga Law, LLC. Oleaga Law, LLC and Janene Oleaga, Esq. expressly disclaim all liability from actions or inactions based on the contents of this article and the website it appears on.