The Iowa Supreme Court rules that contracts made with surrogate mothers are legal in the state.
The case involves a couple from Cedar Rapids who were nearing 50 years old when they married in 2013 and decided they wanted to have a child. They placed an online ad in 2015 and signed an agreement to have the Muscatine woman serve as the surrogate mother. Both embryos implanted in the surrogate mother took hold — but the twins were born prematurely and one died.
The surrogate mother then refused to give up the surviving baby, saying the surrogate contract was not legal in Iowa. The district court, after genetic testing, ruled the contract is enforceable, terminated the parental rights of the surrogate mother and her husband, and awarded the Cedar Rapids man permanent legal and physical custody.
On appeal, the Iowa Supreme Court upheld the district court ruling, saying there is no legal prohibition of such contracts in the state. It says the legislature exempted them from criminal liability for selling children in 1989 following extensive national publicity given the “Baby M” case in New Jersey.
The ruling terminates the rights of the surrogate mother and gives custody of the child to the Cedar Rapids father.
Here’s the ruling: Suorrgate-Contract-Ruling-PDF