State Laws and Legislation

Utah Surrogacy Law


Summary: Utah law explicitly allows gestational surrogacy (in which the surrogate mother is not the biological contributor of the egg) agreements, but it also appears to exclude same-sex couples.

Explanation: Surrogacy agreements are heavily regulated in Utah, and among the constraints on such agreements, the law requires the intended parents to be married to each other. The law also requires that one of the intended parents be genetically related to the child and that surrogacy agreements must be validated by a court.

In the 2007 case of Jones v. Barlow, the Utah Supreme Court heard a case concerning two former domestic partners. When they were together, the couple decided to have a child, and one of the individuals was artificially inseminated. Eventually, the couple separated, and the partner who was not genetically related to the child brought this lawsuit seeking visitation rights. The Court held that the former partner had no standing to seek visitation because she was not genetically related to the child. Although this case was not about the legitimacy of surrogacy agreements, it does show that the Utah courts are unlikely to grant equal parental rights to LGBT individuals and couples. In fact, Utah law prohibits joint adoption by LGBT couples, and it also prohibits LGBT individuals from adopting the child of their same-sex partner.

Citations: UTAH CODE ANN. § 78B-15-801 to -809 (2009); UTAH CODE ANN. §78-30-1(3) (2009); Jones v. Barlow, 154 P.3d 808 (Utah 2007).

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Updated: Wed, September 09, 2009 - 11:00:07