State Laws and Legislation

Connecticut Surrogacy Law

Summary: Surrogacy law in Connecticut is uncertain, but favorable. The statutes are silent with regard to surrogacy agreements, but various cases have looked favorably on such agreements, including a case concerning a same-sex couple.

Explanation: The Connecticut Supreme Court, in Doe v. Doe, decided a custody dispute in 1998 between a husband and wife over a child born to a surrogate mother through a traditional surrogacy agreement (in which the surrogate mother is the biological contributor of the egg). The court ruled in favor of the wife, stating that the wife’s role in raising the child was enough to overcome the statutory presumption that it is in the child’s best interests to be in the custody of a biological parent (in this case, either the husband or the surrogate mother). However, the Court explicitly stated that it was not addressing “whether, or to what extent a surrogate contract . . . is enforceable.”

In the 1998 case of Doe v. Roe, the Connecticut Supreme Court found that a trial court had subject matter jurisdiction to approve an adoption agreement that includes a surrogate mother’s consent to termination of her parental rights. The surrogate mother had argued that the contract was void because it was against public policy. The Court once again explicitly stated that it was not deciding the validity of surrogacy contracts.

In the 2008 case of Cassidy v. Williams*, a same-sex couple had contracted with a gestational surrogate (in which the surrogate mother is not the biological contributor of the egg), who subsequently became pregnant with twins. The Superior Court ordered: (1) “that the plaintiffs . . . be declared and adjudged the intended parents of both” children; (2) “that the gestational carrier agreement . . . is found to be valid, enforceable, irrevocable and of full legal effect;” (3) “that [the surrogate] is declared not to be the mother of the unborn children;” (4) that the hospital place the surrogate’s name on the birth certificates; and (5) that the Department of Public Health prepare replacement birth certificates, replacing the surrogate’s name with the names of the intended parents.

It is legal in Connecticut for same-sex couples to jointly adopt, as well as for individuals to adopt the children of their same-sex partner. Moreover, now that same-sex couples have the right to marry in Connecticut, it seems likely that a court would look favorably upon a surrogacy agreement involving LGBT individuals.

Citations: Cassidy v. Williams, 2008 Conn. Super. LEXIS 1727 (Conn. Super. Ct. 2008)*; Doe v. Doe, 710 A.2d 1297 (Conn. 1998); Doe v. Roe, 717 A.2d 706 (Conn. 1998). *At the time of this writing, this case is unreported and may be subject to further appellate review.

Updated: Tue, September 08, 2009 - 11:00:05