Thursday, March 6, 2014

Surrogacy in Michigan

Melissa A. Cox, Esq.

Michigan law prohibits compensated surrogacy, in which a woman is paid for carrying a child for another individual or couple. Michigan law also states that all surrogacy contracts, whether the surrogate is paid or unpaid, are unenforceable. Despite these restrictions, non-compensated or altruistic surrogacy is legal in Michigan.

Different types of surrogacy are available, with two basic categories. Traditional surrogacy occurs when the surrogate is also the biological mother, meaning her oocytes, or eggs, are used to achieve pregnancy. Her egg is fertilized with sperm from the intended father or from a sperm donor. The surrogate carries the pregnancy to term, and then the baby joins the family of the intended parents. Gestational surrogacy occurs when the surrogate is not biologically related to the embryo. An embryo is implanted in the surrogate, and she carries it to term. However, Michigan recognizes the mother who gives birth the child as that’s child’s legal parent, so, in either situation, the intended parents must legally become the baby's parents through a direct placement adoption after the child is born.

Surrogacy is also categorized based on the financial arrangements. Commercial surrogacy occurs when the surrogate is paid, which, as stated above, is illegal in Michigan. Altruistic surrogacy occurs when the surrogate is not paid but her medical and other expenses are generally reimbursed by the intended parents as in any other direct placement adoption. This arrangement is legal in Michigan and can be assisted through an attorney.

Attorney Melissa Cox is experienced in surrogacy and adoption law and can assist you in making informed choices. Contact her at 248.380.0000 or

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