Surrogacy is permitted in West Virginia, which allows the payment of “fees and expenses included in any agreement in which a woman agrees to become a surrogate mother” (W. Va. Code § 61-2-14h(e)(3). However, this is part of the criminal code in West Virginia and therefore not especially applicable to surrogacy practice.
More relevant is a 2015 Department of Health and Human Resources instructional memorandum outlining the procedures for filing birth certificates in gestational carrier situations.
No statute or case law prohibits the practice of traditional surrogacy in West Virginia.
Can a parentage order be granted for the following?
Although traditional surrogacy isn’t prohibited in West Virginia, most attorneys and agencies strongly advise against the practice given the increased legal risks involved because a surrogate legally can’t be forced to give up her parental rights.
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.
Intended Parent(s) may be listed as Mother-Father or Mother or Father.
There are no statutes or case law in West Virginia that address the rights of an egg, sperm, or embryo donor over the donated gametes or a resulting child.
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.
Although no statutes directly address the matter, surrogacy contracts in West Virginia have been historically recognized and enforced by the state.
Independent counsel is recommended, but not required, for all parties involved in a surrogacy agreement.
There are no statutory requirements for parentage orders in West Virginia. However, it’s standard practice to file a parentage motion. and there haven’t been issues obtaining them.
Although judges typically don’t require a hearing in surrogacy cases, it’s at their discretion, as is the need for a hearing.
Because of the lack of legal restrictions and surrogacy-friendly courts, international Intended Parent(s) may find using surrogacy to build their family in West Virginia a relatively straightforward process. 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.
There is no residency requirement for Intended Parent(s) in obtaining a parentage order as long as the surrogate lives in West Virginia or the child is born there. However, any post-birth adoption process does require West Virginia residency.
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