Additions to its Family Code give California some of the most progressive surrogacy laws in the U.S. 

By Leslie Schreiber, Attorney & Counselor

In September 2012, California Family Code sec. 7960 was amended and is arguably the most progressive surrogacy statute to date in the United States. The additions to the Code set forth that certain parameters have to be met in the creation of assisted reproduction agreements;  specifically, that the surrogate and the intended parent(s) obtain separate counsel, that the agreements be notarized, and that the statute permits and defines how to file pre-birth orders to establish parentage. But one of the most striking sections defines an ” intended parent” as:

“an individual, married or unmarried, who manifests the intent to be legally bound as the parent of a child resulting from assisted reproduction.”

Put simply, same sex couples and individuals who seek surrogacy as a way to build  their families are going to be afforded the same protections as married heterosexual couples.


Leslie Schreiber is an attorney in private practice and devotes much of her time to the ART arena. She is an active member of the American Bar Association Committee on Genetics and Reproductive Technologies. She is licensed in Florida, New York and Washington, D.C. Her website is