What are the rights of children born via assisted reproductive technologies in Michigan?

Understanding the Rights of Children Born Via Assisted Reproductive Technologies in Michigan

In recent years, assisted reproductive technologies (ART) such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and surrogacy have become more common, offering hope to many who wish to become parents. Michigan, like other states, has its own set of laws and considerations regarding the rights of children born through these methods. This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of these rights within the Michigan legal landscape.

Establishing Parentage

One of the critical legal issues for children born via ART in Michigan is the establishment of parentage. Michigan law recognizes the intended parents as the legal parents if they consented to the ART procedure. For instance, in the case of a married couple, both spouses are presumed to be the legal parents of a child conceived through ART with their consent. This presumption also extends to same-sex couples following the legalization of same-sex marriage.

Surrogacy Agreements

Surrogacy arrangements can be complex in Michigan since the state lacks explicit statutes governing surrogacy. Nonetheless, surrogacy agreements are not prohibited, and intended parents often rely on these contracts to establish their parental rights. It is crucial for all parties involved to have clear agreements drafted by legal professionals to ensure that parental rights are recognized and protected after the birth of the child.

Rights to Identity and Information

Michigan has yet to enact specific legislation that addresses a child's right to access information about their biological origins when conceived via ART. However, children born through egg or sperm donation may have limited rights to obtain non-identifying health-related information about their donors. The issue of whether these children can access identifying information about donors is still evolving legally and ethically.

Inheritance Rights

Children conceived through ART in Michigan have inheritance rights similar to those of naturally conceived children. They have a right to inherit from their legal parents regardless of whether they are biologically related, provided the parent-child relationship is legally established.

Child Support and Custody

In cases of divorce or separation, children born via ART are entitled to child support from both parents under Michigan law. Additionally, custody arrangements are determined based on the best interests of the child, with no distinction being made between children born via ART and those conceived naturally.


In conclusion, while Michigan's legal system provides certain protections for children born via assisted reproductive technologies, there remains a gray area concerning some aspects of their rights. As technology evolves and societal attitudes shift, it is likely that Michigan law will continue to adapt to better address these unique concerns.