Surrogacy regulations around the world, captured in maps and data.
Surrogacy Regulation by Country
There is no international regulation of surrogacy. Surrogacy laws vary considerably around the world, and many countries do not regulate surrogacy at all. In some countries, like the United States, Australia, and Mexico, there is no federal regulation but there are laws and case law in some or all states (see individual maps below). Practices on the ground do not always reflect the laws of that country. On this page, “international surrogacy” means foreign intended parents coming to noted country for surrogacy. Note that in the United States, most family law organizations and attorneys with expertise in surrogacy and LGBTQ+ family formation recommend against engaging in international surrogacy even if legal in that country: LGBTQ+ people who hire a surrogate in another country have sometimes been unable to bring their child home because they could not establish their child as a United States citizen or be recognized as legal parents. This is true for other countries as well.
Please note: where an “X” appears, the criterion is explicitly prohibited. Where a “✓” appears, the criterion is explicitly permitted. The table can also be sorted by clicking on the individual column headers. You can further filter the information by individual country or surrogacy policies.
Click on the hyperlink to view the official text.
The United States does not regulate surrogacy at a federal level. States regulate surrogacy through statutes (legislation) and case law (court cases). States that explicitly permit surrogacy do not have regulation that addresses intended parents from other countries hiring surrogates in that state.
US map and narrative research conducted by National Center for Lesbian Rights.
In the state pop-up boxes on above map:
GS=Gestational Surrogacy; GT=Genetic Surrogacy; SS=Same Sex; IP=Intended Parents
Mexico does not regulate surrogacy at a federal level. Only 4 states explicitly regulate surrogacy (two allow and two prohibit). Seven states regulate assisted reproduction, and the laws apply to surrogacy. Supreme Court judgements apply in all states.
Mexico map and narrative research conducted by GIRE.
Australia prohibits paid (commercial) surrogacy at a federal level. For additional provisions, each state and territory has its own regulation. All permit altruistic surrogacy. All require a parentage order after the birth to transfer parentage from the surrogate to the intended parents. Seven stipulate that contracts are not enforceable (with the exception of reimbursement or payment for the surrogate’s expenses); in the ACT, there is no mechanism to enforce a surrogacy arrangement, but it is not addressed in the legislation itself. Only Australian residents can enter surrogacy arrangements. Queensland, New South Wales, and ACT have “long-arm laws,” making going overseas for compensated surrogacy arrangements illegal, though intended parents have not been criminalized to date. Case law concerning surrogacy is rare.