The use of Assisted Reproductive Technology “ART” through the means of surrogacy donation, embryo donation, and surrogacy has increased in recent years. Here’s what you need to know about assisted reproduction laws in California.

The New Assisted Reproduction Law

On January 1, 2016, AB 960 was implemented into California legislation. This law was designed to protect families who conceived children through traditional sexual intercourse, rather than artificial insemination, between unmarried parents. The new law updates forms used by parents and donors to protect their respective rights.

California laws provide forms used to display the parents and donors respective intention. California legislators and lawyers alike advise parents and donors to sign such forms before conception.

California assisted reproduction laws are quite complex. Attempting to navigate California’s complex legal system is tough, and Pride Legal recommends consulting an experienced family law attorney before pregnancy. It’s important to take the time to understand your legal protections and options before becoming pregnant or hiring a surrogate. Understanding your legal options allows you to navigate the legal system and handle the assisted reproduction in a way that protects your rights.

Although these forms protect parents’ rights under California law, other states may not recognize your parenthood if you are not a genetic or birth parent. If you are not a genetic or birth parent, it may be advisable to get a judgment of parentage or an adoption to protect your legal rights outside of California jurisdiction.

Assisted Reproduction Laws FAQ

My partner and I intend to have a child using assisted reproduction. How do we legally protect the non-birth/non-genetic parent?

If a couple intends to have a child using assisted reproduction and one partner will give birth to the child, the partners can protect the non-birth or non-biological parent’s rights by signing a written agreement. The written agreement must state that the non-birth parent consented to the assisted reproduction. Under AB 960, the protection extends to both married and unmarried couples.

Couples in this situation should fill out the California Statutory Forms for Assisted Reproduction, Form 1. However, if you are using a known sperm/egg donor, you should use California Statutory Forms for Assisted Reproduction, Form 4. Both forms can be found below.

My partner and I intend to have a child through ovum sharing. How can we legally protect our rights as parents?

If you and your partner are seeking to carry and birth a child through ovum sharing, you are both protected under California law. As long as there is evidence that the individual providing the egg intended to be the birth parent, both partners should be considered legal parents.. However, to protect your rights, it may be helpful to fill out a California Statutory Forms for Assisted Reproduction, Form 3.

How can my partner and I ensure the known sperm donor is not a legal parent?

In California, there are three ways to ensure that a known sperm donor cannot be legally considered a parent:

  1. A well-documented oral agreement OR
  2. Using a sperm bank or medical doctor OR
  3. Signing a donor agreement before conception

Even in instances where couples follow the law, donors often attempt to claim the child as their own. This is why it is imperative to consult a family law attorney before conceiving a child.

Should my partner and I go through adoption process or obtain a judgement of parentage?

Although the applicable California Statutory Forms for Assisted Reproduction protect non-genetic or non-birth parents, the National Center for Lesbian Rights advises couples to adopt their child or get a judgement of parentage. This will protect you and your parent’s legal rights as parents when traveling to other states.

California Statutory Forms for Assisted Reproduction

Here are the following forms designed to protect you and your partners’ legal parental rights based on your unique situation:

Form 1: Two Married or Unmarried People Using Assisted Reproduction to Conceive a Child

Form 2: Unmarried, Intended Parents Using Intended Parent’s Sperm to Conceive a Child

Form 3: Intended Parents Conceiving a Child Using Eggs from One Parent and the Other Parent Will Give Birth

Form 4: Intended Parent(s) Using a Known Sperm and/or Egg Donor(s) to Conceive a Child

Contact Pride Legal

If you or a loved one is seeking to have a child through assisted reproduction, we invite you to contact us at Pride Legal for legal counseling or any further questions. To protect your rights, hire someone who understands them.