The state of Nevada, in the United States, authorizes in its Statutes the practice of surrogacy, which is also known by the expression surrogate motherhood. It has one of the most tolerant legislations in terms of family models that can access this assisted reproduction treatment. 7
Filiation is granted by means of a judicial sentence that allows parents of intention to resort to this state in order to have a child.
The different sections of this article have been assembled into the following table of contents.
Surrogacy Law in Nevada
The Nevada Statutes explicitly allow for surrogacy in its territory, by chapter 126 dedicated to kinship relationships.
Nevada's legislation on surrogacy agreements is among the most comprehensive, explicit, and permissive of the U.S. states.
Sections 126.500 to 126.810 of the Nevada Revised Statutes regulate this assisted reproduction method in detail.
Nevada law does not provide for any discrimination regarding the marital status and sexual orientation of intending parents, allowing surrogacy to be authorized for heterosexual and homosexual couples (whether married or not) and single persons.
Another great advantage Nevada offers is that it grants a pre-birth order for surrogacy contracts even if neither party resides in the territory. This circumstance makes it an ideal destination for foreigners who need this assisted reproduction treatment.
The surrogate mother receives from the parents of intention the reimbursement of all expenses and economic losses resulting from her participation in the procedure.
Beyond the reimbursement of expenses, the surrogate mother also may receive financial compensation for her efforts. Nevada law does not set limits on payment to the surrogate mother, but recommends that the amount be negotiated "in good faith" between the two parties.
This means that both altruistic and commercial surrogacy is possible in Nevada.
The surrogacy contract
A surrogacy agreement is defined as a contract between a person or couple (the intended parents) and a woman (the surrogate mother) for the purpose of giving birth to a child.
The surrogacy contract in Nevada must be put in writing and signed before the beginning of any medical procedure.
It must be signed by all parties involved and their spouses which means:
- The intended parents
- The surrogate
- The surrogate’s husband or partner (if any)
- The Gametes donors (if any)
By means of the contract, the surrogate agrees to become pregnant through assisted reproduction techniques.
She and her husband renounce all rights and parental responsibility over the child born as a result of the agreement, while the intended parents commit to assume such responsibilities.
If the intended parents are a couple, it is essential that both sign the contract.
The intended parents
As mentioned before, intended parents can either be single persons or heterosexual or homosexual couples.
Couples are not required to be married. A medical indication justifying access to the treatment is not required, either.
Future parents need only express the intention, by means of contract, to be legally bound to a child born by assisted reproduction techniques.
They have a legal obligation to receive appropriate legal advice from independent lawyers before starting the medical procedure.
The aim of this measure is to ensure that they understand the terms of the contract and the possible legal consequences of the contract.
Intented parents have a legal obligation to take care of the needs of the newborn. The breach of the surrogacy contract by the intended parents does not exempt them from taking care of the baby.
Acknowledgement of filiation
The acknowledgement of filiation between the parents of intention and the baby is granted by a court ruling prior to the birth of the baby (pre-birth order).
Generlly, parents of intention aren’t required to be present at court.
It should be noted that Nevada's Civil Status records do not recognize court judgments issued by other states.
The paperwork is relatively short, as the U.S. birth certificate is usually obtained in a week or even in a shorter time (depending on attorneys and circumstances).
Homosexual couples are listed on the certificate as Parent and Parent, with no hierarchy or discrimination based on the origin of the gametes.
The surrogate mother
Section 126.580 of the Nevada Statutes defines a gestational carrier as an adult woman who, without being a parent of intent, contractually undertakes to carry a child to terms resulting from another person's gametes.
In no case can she contribute her gametes to contribute to the formation of the embryo.
In order to be a surrogate mother in Nevada, a woman does not have to reside in the state in order to give birth there.
Before signing the surrogacy agreement, she should instead perform a complete medical evaluation for the pregnancy and review the terms of the contract with an independent legal advisor.
It is important to note that both the parents of intention and the surrogate have different legal representatives. To avoid possible conflicts of interest they cannot share the same lawyer.
Other criteria for becoming a surrogate mother in Nevada are, for example:
- Being of legal age, approximately between 21 and 40 years old.
- Having had a healthy child of her own in the past 10 years
- Not having suffered miscarriages or other complications during pregnancy
- No consumption of illegal drugs, smoking, or abusing alcohol
- No criminal record
- Having a close family environment that supports her in her decision to be a surrogate
The surrogate has the right to choose her doctor for examinations, treatment and follow-up of the pregnancy.
Marrying after having signed the contract does not have any repercussions in respect to the treatment. Since the contract was signed prior to the wedding, the husband's consent is not required and paternity cannot be attributed to him.
In case of breach of contract, it is a court that would determine the rights and obligations of each parties.
Egg and Sperm Donation in Nevada
Egg donation is permitted, and so is sperm and embryo donation in Nevada.
Donors can never be considered as the parents of children born by means of an assisted reproduction technique combined with donation, to the extent that they have given their consent for the use of their gametes for the benefit of third parties, within the framework of reproductive medicine.
Donors are always reimbursed for the costs and economic losses generated by the extraction and preservation of gametes, after having signed the contract to be donors. In addition, it is common for them to receive some form of financial compensation as well.
The presence of donor agencies in Nevada facilitates the surrogacy procedure, especially if the entire in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure takes place there.
FAQs from users
Are there many surrogacy agencies and clinics in Nevada?
As the state of Nevada is among the most permissive in the United States regarding legislation on surrogacy, there are several agencies and clinics of assisted reproduction that carry out the treatment of surrogacy, with or without gametes of donors. The presence of numerous family law attorneys willing to represent intending parents throughout their surrogacy procedure can also be found.
The agency's role is primarily to select the gestational carrier and play an intermediary role. As for the lawyers, they are in charge of drafting the contracts and representing the parties during the trial in order to obtain the pre-birth order.
To learn more about the role of the different professionals specialized in surrogacy, we recommend that you consult the following article: .
What happens if the clinic makes a mistake and the baby is not the genetic baby of the intended parents?
Nevada law takes this unique situation into consideration. If the contract was valid but, because of a laboratory error, the child turns out to have no genetic link to the intented parents or gamete donors (if any), the intented parents will be considered to remain the parents of the baby regardless, unless a court determines otherwise. In this case, the claim can only come from the child's genetic parent(s) within 60 days after birth (NRS 126.720).
Is it possible to resort to a traditional gestational carrier in Nevada?
Traditional surrogacy is that in which the gestational carrier provides her own genetic material to contribute to the creation of the embryo. In practice, this means that a simple artificial insemination may be sufficient.
However, Nevada law is explicit when it specifies that the gestational carrier cannot provide her eggs. It defines the gestational carrier as:
an adult woman who is not a mother of intention and who accepts a surrogacy agreement to gestate a child conceived using other people's gametes and not her own (NRS 126.580)
It is therefore considered risky to perform a traditional surrogacy as the agreement does not meet the legal requirements of the Nevada Statutes.
Suggested for you
For more general information about the United States as a surrogacy destination, we invite you to read the following article: Surrogacy in the USA.
Whether you choose Nevada or another U.S. state or even another country, there are a number of steps to follow to carry out a surrogacy process in the best possible conditions. If you are going to undertake this adventure, do not forget to consult the following link: Surrogacy step by step.
Curious as to how the filiation process takes place? Click here: Parentage and Nationality: How does it work in surrogacy?
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