Surrogacy is practiced in Tennessee, and Circle has worked successfully with women from the state. According to Tennessee law, the process to establish parentage in the state of Tennessee is based on gender, marital status, and genetic links to the expected child. The statute focuses on the best interests of the child, which has resulted in Tennessee courts concluding that it is against the child’s best interest to not have a legal mother. Therefore, unless the petitioning intended parents are a heterosexual couple (married or unmarried) who are both genetically related to the child, the courts permit only for the paternity of the biological father to be established pre-birth, resulting in the birth certificate showing the biological father with the carrier.
What does this mean for surrogate mothers? Even though the gestational carrier's name can appear on the birth certificate, a second parent adoption by a second intended parent must be completed in Tennessee or in the home state or country of the intended parents to permanently amend the birth certificate and remove the carrier’s name and replace it with that of the second intended parent. A single, male intended parent will have a birth certificate listing the carrier as the “mother.” Some counties require in-person hearings, though some judges have been flexible in allowing parties to appear by phone.
As stated above, Circle has successfully worked with women from Tennessee as surrogate mothers. Once legal work is complete, parents' names are successfully on the birth certificate and the gestational carrier's name is removed.