State Laws and Legislation

Alabama Surrogacy Law

Summary: Alabama law does not directly address surrogacy, but at least one court has acknowledged the parental rights of non-biological participants in a surrogacy arrangement. The issue of surrogacy agreements involving lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) individuals has not yet been considered by the courts.

Explanation: There is no statutory provision in Alabama law specifically addressing the validity of surrogacy arrangements. Statutes dealing with placing children for adoption and “baby-buying” specifically indicate that they do not apply to surrogate motherhood. The courts have not dealt with the validity of surrogacy agreements; however, in 1996 a case arose in the context of a divorce proceeding between a husband and wife who had been part of a traditional surrogacy agreement (one in which the surrogate mother is the biological contributor of the egg). The Court awarded custody to the wife even though she was biologically unrelated to the child. The husband challenged the decision on the ground that, as the sperm donor in the surrogacy arrangement, he was the child's only biological parent. The Court rejected his request and permitted the child to remain with the wife on the basis of the best interests of the child. Although the validity of the surrogacy agreement was not addressed, the Court did consider the wife a legal parent even though she was not genetically related to the child.

There is no explicit prohibition in Alabama on LGBT couples jointly adopting a child, nor is there an explicit prohibition on LGBT individuals adopting the child of their same-sex partner.

Citations: ALA. CODE §§ 26-10A-33, 34 (2009); Brasfield v. Brasfield, 679 So.2d 1091 (Ala. Civ. App. 1996).

Updated: Tue, September 08, 2009 - 11:00:02