Surrogacy Law and Legal Definition

Surrogacy is an arrangement whereby a woman agrees to become pregnant and deliver a child for a contracted party. There are two types of surrogacy such as traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy.

Traditional surrogacy is an arrangement where a woman is impregnated with the sperm of a married man with the prior understanding that the resulting child is to be legally the child of the married man and his infertile wife. Whereas, gestational surrogacy is the process by which the sperm of the married man is artificially united with the egg of his wife, and the resulting embryo implanted in another woman's womb. It is also to be contrasted with cases where a sperm donor asserts parental rights. [In re Marriage of Moschetta, 25 Cal. App. 4th 1218 (Cal. App. 4th Dist. 1994)]

A woman who enters into a gestational surrogacy arrangement is not exercising her own right to make procreative choices. She agrees to provide a necessary and profoundly important service without any expectation that she will raise the resulting child as her own. [Johnson v. Calvert, 5 Cal. 4th 84 (Cal. 1993)]

However, an agreement in which a woman agrees to become a surrogate or to relinquish her rights and duties as parent of a child thereafter conceived through assisted conception is void. [Uniform Status of Children of Assisted Conception Act, Alternative B, § 5, 9B U.L.A. 208 (Master ed. Supp. 1997)]