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Pursuing surrogacy to grow your family is an incredible gift – but it also involves some serious legal logistics, especially if you’ll be working with an international surrogate. The fact is, surrogacy laws can vary drastically between countries and even states. 

Some places totally prohibit surrogacy outright. Others have carved out specific laws allowing it under certain circumstances. And still others operate in a legal gray zone without clear surrogacy legislation on the books.

At First Fertility, we understand how daunting and confusing it can be to take in the rules and regulations. That’s why our team is here to skillfully guide you based on your specific situation and family-building needs. To provide some initial clarity, here’s a high-level look at where some major surrogacy hubs around the world currently stand.

The United States 

Often called the “surrogacy friendly” nation, the U.S. has favorable laws – but they can differ from state to state. Locations like California, Connecticut, Delaware, and others have solid legal protections and established processes for intended parents using gestational surrogates.

Other states heavily restrict or completely prohibit compensated surrogacy arrangements. However, the wildly popular “surrogate-friendly” states remain good options for many.


The Great White North also has reasonably progressive surrogacy laws throughout most provinces. Canadian intended parents are permitted to work with gestational surrogates, but compensating a surrogate for anything beyond permissible expenses is illegal. The legal process can be quite complex.


Most Australian states are quite progressive with altruistic surrogacy for citizens and permanent residents. However, regulations around compensating surrogates and surrogacy for foreigners tend to be highly restricted across the board.

New Zealand

Here, gestational surrogacy is permitted for residents but compensating surrogates beyond reasonable expenses is strictly forbidden. Foreigners working with Kiwi surrogates could face legal troubles.

The United Kingdom

The UK allows gestational surrogacy on an uncompensated basis only, except for reimbursing permissible expenses incurred by the surrogate. Violating these policies by compensating the surrogate can actually result in criminal charges.

Southeast Asia: Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia

Surrogacy laws in these nations reflect a wide range of permissibility and restrictions for citizens, permanent residents, heterosexual couples, and LGBTQ+ individuals hoping to have a child via surrogate.

In Singapore, compensated surrogacy is legally recognised  for married couples but not for single parents or same-sex couples. 

Neighboring Thailand and Malaysia completely ban all forms of commercial gestational surrogacy and are extremely strict about upholding these laws.

East Asia: Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan

In Japan and South Korea there are no laws or statutes on surrogacy. The practice is often morally stigmatized, though it still sometimes happens.

Surrogacy in China and Taiwan is forbidden by law. Hong Kong allows altruistic surrogacy arrangements, but prohibits commercial surrogacy.


This Central Asian nation permits gestational surrogacy for heterosexual married couples who meet certain medical criteria. Many foreigner families choose to work with Kyrgyz surrogates while securing legal parentage through their home country’s court system.


This eastern European country has permitted commercial gestational surrogacy since 2004, creating a booming “surrogacy market” for international intended parents. However, the 2022 Russian invasion put many arrangements in jeopardy.

Country Situation Overall

Clearly surrogacy laws and options can differ drastically from one country or state to the next. The legal logistics are often overwhelming to navigate for cross-border arrangements – but not having your affairs organized properly could result in major difficulties down the road.

That’s why if you’re an international intended parent looking into surrogacy, partnering with an experienced and ethical legal team is absolutely crucial. As one of the leading gestational carrier agencies, our team at First Fertility will carefully assess your specific situation and family-building goals, making sure you fully understand your legal options and obligations every step of the way.

Trusted Support Is Everything

Pursuing parenthood via surrogate is already a huge emotional, physical, and financial commitment. Throw in complex legal minefields to navigate, and having the right professional guidance becomes absolutely paramount for your family’s well being and peace of mind. 

The First Fertility team deeply understands these intricacies and will serve as your legal advocate and partner every step of the way, creating a fully customized plan tailored to your country’s laws surrounding surrogacy, LGBTQ+ rights, and more. We’ll carefully ensure your global family-building journey is compliant, ethical, and ultimately successful in making you a parent.

If you’re dreaming of surrogacy but feeling lost on where to begin based on your specific circumstances, we’re here to help. Reach out today to schedule a free consultation – let’s get you on the path to completing your family.

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