Legality of Surrogacy in Washington
Washington has a modernized gestational surrogacy law that went into effect on January 1, 2019. One of our Directors (Sharon LaMothe) testified on its behalf and was an active advocate in the work to pass a strong and ethical law supporting surrogacy in Washington.
The Washington law sets forth a specific framework that you and your surrogate must follow before the embryo transfer takes place. The statutory requirements include:
Your gestational carrier must have had a prior pregnancy that resulted in the birth of a child. (This is a basic for PNW Surrogacy and most fertility clinics, anyway.)
Your gestational carrier must not have been a surrogate more than 2 times prior to entering into the agreement with you. (Unique to Washington!)
Both you and your gestational carrier will need to undergo medical screening. (Standard practice.)
Both you and your gestational carrier will need to participate in a mental health consultation or screening before your transfer cycle can proceed. (So the request that you go through mental health screening isn’t implying anything, it’s required by law!)
Both you and your gestational carrier must be represented by an independent attorney of each of your choosing. (We help you find great local options.)
We pre-screen our surrogate candidates to make sure they meet the requirements of the Washington law before we look to find their perfect matches.
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 Washington 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.
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, or help you figure out where to pick it up in person).