Whether you are a woman who is considering becoming a surrogate or parents-to-be looking to start a family using surrogacy, our lawyers will explain what you need to do to ensure that your interests are protected at all times. In California, the laws covering surrogacy can be extremely complicated, and it is easy to make mistakes that have a significant impact on your rights.

Our lawyers will help you create a comprehensive surrogacy agreement that addresses all issues that may arise during the process. We are here to assist you from the planning stages through the court proceedings and birth. We routinely assist families and surrogates from other countries with the surrogacy process.

It is important to have attorneys with extensive experience in surrogacy laws. Do not make the same mistakes that so many people have made when using surrogacy to start a family; contact Contreras Law Firm today for a free consultation.


1. When does California have jurisdiction over the surrogacy process?

California has jurisdiction over the surrogacy process when either the surrogate or the intended parents live in California or if the baby will be born in California.

2. Does the implantation need to occur in California?

No, the intended parents and the surrogate can enter into a contract in California even if the implantation occurs in another state or even another country. Given San Diego's proximity to Mexico, many families decide to have implantation done outside of the United States, but proceed with the legal process in California.

3. When should I start the legal process for surrogacy?

Once you have decided that surrogacy is right for your family, the legal process should be started immediately. Although a contract can be drafted between the intended parents and surrogate after insemination takes place, it is best to enter into the legal agreement before any medical procedures begin.

4. When we decide surrogacy is right for us, who needs an attorney?

In California, both the surrogate and the future parents will need an independent attorney to review and negotiate the terms of the surrogacy contract. This means that the same attorney cannot represent both the intended parents and the surrogate.

5. What terms are in a surrogacy contract?

A surrogacy contract identifies the parties, the intent of each of the parties regarding parental rights and the financial responsibility for the surrogate during pregnancy and the child after birth, as well as the laws in California regarding surrogacy.

6. Why do I need a surrogacy contract?

Having a legal surrogacy contract between the intended parents and surrogate assures that all of the details regarding the pregnancy, compensation and birth are clearly determined and agreed upon. A proper surrogacy contract also facilitates the court process in obtaining a judgment either prior to or after the child's birth. Further, the contract can be presented to the hospital, ensuring that the appropriate birthing plan is carried out without additional stress.

7. Do I need to file any documents with the court?

Once the surrogacy contract is signed by both parties, Contreras Law Firm will ensure that the proper court proceedings are initiated and the appropriate documents are filed. Unlike many firms, Contreras Law Firm is well-versed and experienced in both the requirements for drafting the contract as well as initiating and concluding the court process. Our clients only need one attorney throughout the process. The result will be a judgment making the intended parents the legal parents of the child and relinquishing all rights of the surrogate.

8. What is a prebirth judgment?

In California, a judgment making the intended parents the legal parents of the child can be entered by the judge prior to the birth of the baby. This allows the intended parents to be in the room during the birth and to make decisions regarding the child after birth. It also allows the intended parents' names to be entered on the child's birth certificate.