Welcome to our comprehensive guide on surrogacy laws in Alaska. If you're considering surrogacy in the Last Frontier State, it's crucial to understand the legal landscape surrounding this life-changing process.
This surrogacy guide navigates you through Alaska’s legal framework for surrogacy agreements. Explore the rights and responsibilities of all involved parties, from intended parents to surrogates, and explore the detailed requirements for surrogacy contracts. Learn everything you need to know about gestational surrogacy in Alaska.
With no case law or statute prohibiting surrogacy, gestational surrogacy is generally permitted and practiced in Alaska. It is anticipated that courts will establish parentage pre-birth for intended parents regardless of sexual orientation, marital status, or genetic link to the expected child; however, due to limited surrogacy matters in the area, it is best pursued by married, heterosexual parents using embryos with their own genetics. A hearing is most likely required and all parties may be ordered to appear with most cases being filed and heard in Anchorage.
Gestational surrogacy is allowed and practiced legally in Alaska. Because Alaska lacks specific legislation or case law addressing surrogacy, surrogacy arrangements are typically governed by court decisions and legal interpretations.
The legal parentage process is the critical step whereby parentage is determined. Depending on where your child is born, the parentage orders will be completed either pre- or post-birth.
Every state, whether pre-birth, post-birth, or some combination of the two, has its own unique process and requirements. Working with an experienced Assisted Reproductive Technology lawyer and reputable agency is critical to the success of a surrogacy journey. One of the many benefits of working with an established agency like ConceiveAbilities is the legal oversight, education, and support provided to both intended parents and gestational surrogates.
The pre-birth process means that the relevant state law provides an avenue for the parties to present an order to a judge for entry prior to the child being born that establishes the intended parent(s) as the legal parents of the child. It will also likely direct the hospital to release the child to the intended parents after discharge and order the state’s Office of Vital Records to name the intended parents on the child’s birth certificate.
Alaska grants pre-birth orders to married, heterosexual couples using their own egg and sperm. Although it is generally anticipated that courts would also establish parentage pre-birth for intended parents regardless of sexual orientation, marital status, or genetic link to the expected child, with limited surrogacy journeys in Alaska, it is currently preferable to only plan for a pre-birth order for married, heterosexual couples with full genetic connection. In any case, regardless of the factual specifics, a hearing is most likely required and all parties can be ordered to appear.
The post-birth process is overall procedurally the same as the pre-birth, but it occurs after the child is born. Often this is because the relevant state law contemplates the existence of a live child before anything can be filed or entered. But the ultimate result is the same – a birth certificate with the intended parents’ names and secure legal parentage of the child in favor of the intended parents. Post-birth court orders may be necessary if the pre-birth order process isn't followed, ensuring legal parentage.
If the pre-birth process is not possible, Alaska permits post-birth orders but note that this will likely take the form of an adoption if there is no genetic connection to the child.
Because of the limited cases, it is unclear if Alaska requires a medical need for surrogacy. Therefore, it is preferable and recommended that the intended parent(s) have a qualifying medical need – meaning there are medical reasons a person cannot carry their own child. Some examples of medical needs include unexplained infertility, lack of a uterus or vagina, scarring on the uterus, and a history of complicated pregnancies or miscarriage(s). Existing medical conditions like heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes and pregnancy conditions such as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes that could impact a woman’s ability to carry a child to term or put her life at risk would also qualify as a medical need.
While there are no official requirements or specifications, legal experts recommend that only married, heterosexual couples pursue surrogacy in Alaska. Outcomes for other intended parent(s) is uncertain because of limited cases and journeys. For other intended parents, legal experts recommend partnering with a reputable surrogacy journey to explore their options.
It is preferable that both intended parents be genetically related to the embryo when pursuing surrogacy in Alaska.
International parents can pursue surrogacy in Alaska. Learn more about becoming a parent with international family building.
While Alaska does not expressly prohibit same sex parents from pursuing surrogacy, it is not recommended because of limited cases for establishing parental rights. For the non-genetic parent, a post-birth adoption would likely be necessary to secure parental rights. Members of the LGBTQ+ may prefer to explore their family building options with a reputable surrogacy agency to match with a surrogate in a LGBTQ+ surrogacy friendly. Learn more about surrogacy and the LGBTQ+ Community.
Yes, altruistic surrogacy is permitted in Alaska. Even if you have a surrogate, you may still choose to partner with a surrogacy agency to navigate your journey.
Generally no. Intended parents do not need to be Alaska residents to carry out a surrogacy journey in Alaska. Similarly, Gestational Carriers are not required to reside in Alaska, but they usually must give birth within the state.
No, there are no written laws relating to the rights of gestational carriers. Learn more about surrogate rights.
Surrogacy is a modern and growing means of bringing new life into the world, where a woman carries a baby for another person or a couple. The intended parents typically undergo IVF meaning fertilization outside of the body, to transfer their embryo into the surrogate's uterus. Learn more about American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) surrogacy recommendations.
Gestational surrogacy is the most common surrogacy practiced today. The surrogate is not genetically or legally related to the baby and is usually compensated for her time and service by the intended parents. Most surrogacy agencies exclusively practice gestational surrogacy. Learn more about What Is A Surrogate?.
A traditional surrogate uses her own egg meaning she is biologically related to the child, while a gestational carrier is not genetically related. This typically means the embryo is created through IVF with the surrogate's eggs and Intended Father’s or donor’s sperm. In lieu of IVF, parties could also perform Intrauterine Insemination ("IUI") with the Intended Father’s or donor’s sperm. This is not common in modern family building and rarely practiced today. Learn more about the differences between gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy.
Altruistic surrogacy, sometimes referred to as compassionate surrogacy, is when the surrogate is not financially compensated beyond reimbursement of medical and other pregnancy-related expenses for carrying a child. Many times this is when a friend or relative is the surrogate.
The intended parent or parents is the individual or a couple who partner with a surrogate to carry and give birth to a child on the intended parent’s behalf. There are many reasons people choose surrogacy to make their dream of a family come true including infertility, medical reasons, and non-medical reasons.
A gestational surrogate is a woman who carries a child for someone who cannot. The surrogate mother undergoes IVF to have an embryo that has no genetic relation to her transferred and she carries the baby to term for the Intended Parent(s). The embryo can be created by both the parents’ egg and sperm or with an egg donor and/or a sperm donor. In modern surrogacy with a gestational surrogate, her egg is not used. Alaska is a surrogacy friendly state. Learn more about becoming a surrogate in Alaska.
Gestational carrier compensation can include medical, legal, and living expenses. Learn more about surrogate pay.
A Gestational Carrier Agreement (GCA) or Surrogacy Agreement is a comprehensive, written contract between Intended Parents, the surrogate, and the surrogate’s partner/spouse, if any.
The GCA outlines legal rights, expectations, responsibilities, compensation, and other potential contingencies. This agreement happens before the embryo transfer and details the parties' rights, obligations, intentions, and expectations to each other in connection with the surrogacy process. It also addresses many other aspects of the relationship and journey including medical considerations, location of delivery, future contact between the parties, insurance (both health and life), payment of medical bills, liability for medical complications, and Intended Parents' presence during doctor's visits and at delivery.
Financial considerations such as the surrogate’s compensation and expenses, including everything from lost wages, legal fees, invasive procedure fees, and medical fees to childcare costs and maternity clothes are also addressed. Legal counsel will ensure you have a properly executed surrogacy agreement, customized to your unique circumstances and the legal requirements of the state where your surrogate resides.
Many fertility centers have standardized forms for patients to complete as part of the informed consent process. However, these forms are consents between the Intended Parents and fertility center and between the donors and the fertility center; a legal contract between the Intended Parents and donors is still needed, and both Intended Parents and donors should have separate independent legal representation. Fertility center consent forms do not take into account the nuances of parentage and donor laws in each state. The forms often go beyond the concepts of procedures, benefits, and risks and reach into issues of establishment and relinquishment of parental rights. Such boilerplate provisions in consent often cannot resolve legal parentage, especially when neither party has separate independent legal representation.
Navigating Alaska surrogacy laws requires careful consideration and legal expertise. By staying informed and working with experienced professionals, you can embark on a surrogacy journey with confidence and legal security.
For personalized legal advice and assistance, consult with a reputable reproductive law attorney in Alaska.
DISCLAIMER: The information in this blog does not constitute legal advice and should not be construed as such. The information contained is strictly for informational purposes only. ConceiveAbilities does not represent or warrant the content to be error-free.