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STATE SURROGACY LAW:

Vermont Surrogacy Laws

Overview

Gestational surrogacy is permitted and protected by the Vermont Parentage Act of 2018, which legalizes gestational surrogacy, sets up a framework for pre-birth orders, and provides contractual protection for both Intended Parent(s) and Gestational Carriers. Prior to 2018, gestational surrogacy was practiced in Vermont, but there were greater legal risks involved, as legal contracts relied on the discretion of judges to grant birth certificate amendments post-birth.

The Vermont Parentage Act does not permit traditional surrogacy, but neither does it prohibit it; similarly, neither does any other statutes or case law.

Types of Surrogacy Available in Vermont

Can a parentage order be obtained for the following?

Traditional surrogacy is not prohibited in Vermont, but parentage must be established through adoption proceedings rather than a court parentage order. This limits compensation and requires the surrogate to follow the adoption regulations regarding terminating her parental rights after birth. Many attorneys and agencies advise against it due to the increased legal risks involved because a surrogate legally can’t be forced to give up her parental rights.

Gestational surrogacy

YES

Commercial surrogacy

YES

Traditional surrogacy

NO

Altruistic surrogacy

YES

Parentage

Who can be declared as the parent(s) of a child from a surrogate via a court parentage order?

💚 – Both Intended Parent(s) can be named on the parentage order.

💛 – Only a genetic Intended Parent can be named on the parentage order. A non-genetic Intended Parent will need to establish parentage via a second or stepparent adoption following birth.

How are Intended Parent(s) Listed on the Birth Certificate?

Intended Parent(s) may be listed as Father-Mother, Parent-Parent, or Father or Mother.

Rights of Egg or Sperm Donor(s)

According to 15C V.S.A. § 702, donors of sperm or egg for assisted reproduction procedures by someone other than their spouse have no parental rights over the donated gametes or a resulting child.

Surrogacy Steps in Vermont

Surrogacy Process in Vermont

Select your agency if applicable

Match with a gestational carrier

Complete medical and psychological evaluations

Select attorney and complete legal contract

All parties must sign an acknowledgment of receipt of a fully executed copy of the agreement and the attorneys must sign a declaration that the agreement complies with the Vermont Parentage Act prior to submitting parentage order petition.

Begin IVF cycle with surrogate

Pre-birth order

Proceedings begin after the first trimester.

Delivery and birth certificate finalization

Birth Certificate Timeline

Birth certificate

5-10 business days

Legal and medical steps involved in the surrogacy process may differ from case to case. Please speak with your agency and attorneys about how the process might look for you.

Court Processes

Surrogacy Contracts

Gestational surrogacy contracts in Vermont are recognized and enforced by the state as long as the statutory requirements are met.

Independent Counsel

Independent counsel is required for all parties involved in a surrogacy agreement.

Requirements for Surrogates and Intended Parent(s)

Surrogates

  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Must have completed a medical evaluation that includes a mental health consultation
  • Must have had independent legal representation of the person’s own choosing and paid for by the intended parent or parents regarding the terms of the gestational carrier agreement and have been advised of the potential legal consequences of the gestational carrier agreement
  • Must not have contributed gametes that will ultimately result in an embryo that the gestational carrier will attempt to carry to term, unless the gestational carrier is entering into an agreement with a family member.

Intended Parent(s)

  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Must have completed a medical evaluation and mental health consultation
  • Must have retained independent legal representation regarding the terms of the gestational carrier agreement and have been advised of the potential legal consequences of the gestational carrier agreement.
Agencies and fertility clinics may have additional requirements based on the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys.

Birth Orders

Do courts issue pre-birth orders?

YES

Do courts issue post-birth orders?

YES

Are hearings required to obtain either pre- or post-birth orders?

NO

Bases of Venue

What are the bases of venue:

County where child is born or an Intended Parent resides

Do rulings vary by venue?

NO

Can you file a motion to waive venue?

UNCERTAIN

International Issues

Vermont has no legal restrictions on international Intended Parent(s) pursuing surrogacy in the state. Because of the 2018 Vermont Parentage Act, the process has been streamlined and it is easy for Intended Parent(s) from all over to receive a parentage order as long as the child is born in Vermont. However, international Intended Parent(s) will have additional legal steps to complete before their return home regarding their country’s immigration and citizen laws that impact the child. It’s imperative the international Intended Parent(s) speak with an experienced attorney in their home country about their situation. The law of more than one country will need to be considered if the Intended Parent(s) are citizens or residents of more than one country.  

Residency Requirements

Does the state impose residency requirements on either the surrogate or Intended Parent(s):

Either the surrogate or one of the Intended Parents must be a resident of Vermont.

Birth Certificates

Can an international same-sex male couple receive an initial birth certificate naming the biological father and Gestational Carrier?

YES

Can an international same-sex male couple obtain an initial birth certificate naming only the biological father?

YES

Can they obtain a subsequent birth certificate naming only the Intended Parent(s) with no mention of the Gestational Carrier?

YES

Passport Timeline

6-8 weeks after submitting birth certificate.

Passports can be expedited for a 2-3 week delivery with an extra fee. Intended Parent(s) can also visit a regional passport agency to receive one within 8 business days.

Passports are regulated at the federal level in the United States. To learn more about the process of receiving a US passport, visit Travel.State.gov.

Consulting Attorneys

Kathleen DiPaola
Copps Dipaola Silverman, PPLC
126 State Street, 6th Floor
Albany, NY 12207
(518) 436-4170
kdipaola@theCDSLawFirm.com
thecdslawfirm.com

Legal Disclaimer

The content contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only. Content contained herein may or may not reflect the most current legal information on the subject; accordingly, this website is not promised to be correct or complete at any given time. Outcomes referenced should not be interpreted as an indication of future outcomes. Love & Kindness Surrogacy explicitly disclaims all liability for actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this website.

This website does not constitute a replacement for legal advice or counsel. Always consult an attorney before beginning the surrogacy process.

Last updated October 2019

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