Questions About Adoption or Becoming a Surrogate in Nevada?

Ask Our Nevada Adoption & Surrogacy Attorney Answers FAQs


Adoption is a complex legal process. There are laws, deadlines and several considerations that you need to be aware of, whether you are acting as an adoptive parent, birth parent or surrogate. Our Nevada adoption lawyer can answer any questions you have to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible. He has assisted with hundreds of adoptions throughout his career, and he is a Fellow of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys.


Our civilization has come a long way. The evolution of education and human ingenuity has brought us some amazing things such as antibiotics, electricity and modern transportation. We are better equipped to diagnose and treat illnesses and disorders now more than ever. As a result, as of the past couple decades, couples experiencing fertility issues and dilemmas have finally been able to start families of their own. There are many reasons why a couple may be considered infertile, such as endometriosis, prostate issues and low egg count; conversely, basic biology may be causing the fertility dilemma when an LGBTQ couple decides to start or grow their family. Whatever the reason, many people who are unable to have children on their own still desire to have a child they can call their own. Happily, the modern day provides options, such as adoption and surrogacy, for infertile or LGBTQ couples that will help them grow and complete their family.

Local Reno surrogacy lawyer, Eric Stovall, has been a practicing lawyer for over 30 years. He is a respected adoption and surrogacy lawyer and advocate throughout Reno as well as the greater state of Nevada. Since opening the doors to his adoption law firm in 1995, he has helped several of his fellow Nevadans complete their families by helping them through the surrogate and/or adoption process. No matter if you are the surrogate or the intended parents, Eric can help ensure the legality of the entire Nevada surrogacy process and that your parental rights are protected. He can answer any questions, help you draft and fill out all appropriate forms and provide his legal opinion every step of the way.

Surrogacy and Adoption Questions

  • Surrogacy

    • More Surrogacy Questions? Our Reno Adoption Law Firm Offers Free Consultations

      Making the decision to start or further grow your family is one of the most important and joyful decisions in a person’s life. When you decide to grow your family by utilizing the services of a surrogate, it is vitally important that you do so legally and emerge with your parental rights fully intact. One of the surest ways to do this is to have an experienced Reno surrogacy lawyer like Eric by your side.

    • Does the Surrogate Have Any Parental Rights?

      If you are in a state where traditional surrogacy is allowed and the surrogate decides she wants to keep the baby, for example, then you could face potential legal issues in regards to who has parental rights. It is largely for this reason that Nevada only allows gestational surrogacy. When signing a gestational surrogacy agreement, the surrogate surrenders her parental rights over the child to the intended parents. To further protect your parental rights, your surrogacy attorney can draft and file a “pre-birth order”. If you went through a surrogacy agency, and suspect that your surrogate is going to or is growing attached to the baby during pregnancy, then you can usually utilize the agency’s counseling services to address the issue.

    • How Much Will Surrogacy Cost Me?

      This answer will vary depending on the surrogacy. For example, some women can have a more difficult time while pregnant and may require extra services and other forms of assistance to help her carry the child safely to term. Further, if you go through an agency, they will have company related fees (such as a fee for matching you with a surrogate) on top of medical expenses and any other treatment the surrogate undergoes during pregnancy. Intended parents should come prepared to pay the above and more. An experienced Reno surrogacy lawyer can help you determine a realistic idea of the amount of expenses that you face.

    • How Much Contact Will I Have With My Surrogate?

      Similarly to how you choose what type of adoption to have (open, closed etc.), you will determine the amount of contact between you and your surrogate during the initial agreement phase of the process. When drafting the surrogacy plan, you will discuss how often you will be in contact with her throughout the surrogacy process. This is completely negotiable and up to you and the surrogate. If you go through a surrogacy agency, they will often provide mediators to help with this process; however, if you are going through an independent surrogate, then a Reno surrogacy lawyer can help you.

    • Can I Pursue Surrogacy Individually?

      You certainly do not have to use a surrogate agency when choosing a surrogate. If you know someone or want to find an independent surrogate, then you have the right to do so. However, if this is the route you want to take, then it is highly recommended (and in your best interest) to work with an experienced Reno surrogacy lawyer, like Eric, as Nevada surrogacy laws are complicated. Eric will be able to ensure that your parental rights (and your future child) are protected to the maximum extent of the law.

    • How do I Choose a Surrogate?

      This is a question that is entirely up to you and your partner. However, there are certain advantages that you can look for when searching for one. For example, it is said to be better if a surrogate has been pregnant before. In fact, many surrogacy agencies vigorously screen potential surrogates for several factors (such as age and overall health) and will look for surrogates who have been pregnant previously. If you are having difficulty deciding where to begin, a local surrogate agency may be a good place to start your search.

    • Are There Different Types of Surrogacy?

      In short, there are two types of surrogacy: traditional and gestational. Only the latter is legal in the state of Nevada.

      1. Traditional Surrogacy. In this type of surrogacy, the surrogate’s eggs are used rather than the intended mother’s. This means that she is the biological mother of the child, which, as you can imagine, has a potential tendency to cause some unwanted legal issues. Additionally, a large majority of women still want a child of their own, which makes traditional surrogacy (where it is legal) an unappealing option. Again, in Nevada, traditional surrogacy is not permitted by law and is not advised.
      2. Gestational Surrogacy. A more viable (and attractive) option for most couples is gestational surrogacy. In this type of surrogacy, a surrogate is inseminated via IVF with the intended parents’ sperm and egg and has no biological claim over the child.
    • What Is Nevada Surrogacy Law?

      Laws concerning Nevada surrogacy have changed drastically over the years, starting with the enactment of Assembly Bill No. 421 in October 2013. The goal of this bill was to outline, define and determine the legality of “gestational carrier arrangements”, revise “provisions relating to assisted reproduction” and other determinations concerning parentage. The new law also recognizes LGBTQ couples’ rights to be parents and protects their right to utilize the services of a surrogate.

    • What Is Surrogacy?

      Let us start with how to properly define “surrogacy”. In general, a surrogate is a woman who becomes pregnant on behalf of a couple who can otherwise not (or chooses not to) have children. Put simply, it is a legal agreement, previously determined between these two parties, that allows a surrogate to receive compensation in exchange for carrying a couple’s child(ren) to term. Once an agreement is reached and signed, the surrogate will be inseminated via in vitro fertilization (IVF) and will carry the child to term based on what has been laid out in the surrogacy agreement.

  • Adoption

    • Are there always contacts between the parties after an adoption?

      While both parties may agree to an open adoption, you do not have to do so. Birth parents and adoptive parents mutually agree on the amount of contacts, if any. Some birth parents want to have assurance that their adoption decision was in their child’s best interests. A contact agreement, where the adoptive parents agree to provide contacts such as pictures, e-mails, etc. from time to time, provides that peace of mind to the birth parents. Parents may also choose to pursue a closed adoption, in which the birth parents have no contact with the adopted child. However, such adoptions are no longer as common as they once were.

    • Is the consent revocable?

      Consents and relinquishments for adoption are irrevocable upon signing in Nevada. We can help you understand the revocation of consent in an adoption case.

    • How does the law treat the consent of a birth parent who is a minor?

      Most states treat a birth parent who is a minor no differently than adult birth parents. According to Nevada adoption law, under-age birth parents may consent to an adoption without parental approval or notification. Upon reaching the age of maturity, a birth parent may not change his or her mind about a consent for adoption given previously.

    • How is consent executed?

      In Nevada, two disinterested witnesses must sign a consent form and it needs to be notarized. Unless the adoption is an intra-family adoption, one of the witnesses must be a licensed social worker.

    • When can the court terminate a birth parent’s parental rights?

      Each state has different laws which govern when a person can terminate his or her parental rights. In Nevada, a court can terminate parental rights upon a clear and convincing proof of the child’s best interests and parental fault. Parental fault can include criminal activity, child abandonment, child abuse and neglect. The termination of parental rights in Nevada is not something to take lightly.

    • Why do people choose adoption?

      For many families, adoption is the best way to create the best life for everyone involved. Some people choose to terminate parental rights because they believe it is the best decision for themselves, the child and the eventual adoptive parents. Parents may choose to adopt for various reasons such as providing a home for a child who needs one.

    • I am from another state and I found a birth mother in Nevada. What do I do now?

      You finally found (or matched with) a birth mother who lives in Nevada, but you live in another state. What do you need to do to make this private adoption happen?

      This is the question that new clients most frequently ask me. As my office works on over a hundred adoption cases each year, we make these interstate adoptions a successful and happy reality all the time.

      Basically, you will need both a Nevada licensed adoption agency and a qualified Nevada adoption attorney to complete an interstate adoption of a Nevada child. While the adoption remains a “private adoption,” the specifics of Nevada law require that a Nevada licensed adoption agency be a part of the adoption process. You also need a Nevada adoption attorney to make sure you satisfy the requirements of Nevada law. Additionally, you want to confirm the termination of the rights of the birth parents, both known and unknown. This then allows you to finalize your adoption in your home state or in Nevada, if you desire.

      It does not matter where your birth mother lives in Nevada. I routinely handle cases from Las Vegas to Reno to Elko and all of the smaller Nevada towns in between. My office also regularly represents four different adoption agencies who can assist us with your adoption regardless of where the birth mother may reside in Nevada.

      Of course, we need to address other adoption law issues with each case. Please call me without delay to discuss the specifics aspects of your interstate adoption.

  • Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys
  • State Bar of Nevada
  • Washoe County Bar Association
“Eric & his staff were very helpful & it made the adoption go through so easily. He is great & I would recommend him to anyone!”

Considering Expanding Your Family? Contact Eric Today

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