... Because Everyone Can Build a Family

GESTATIONAL SURROGACY IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Gestational Surrogacy is permitted by statute, DC Law 21-0255.

PRE-BIRTH PARENTAGE ORDERS

Do courts grant pre-birth parentage orders? Yes, the courts are expected to begin to grant pre-birth parentage orders for Gestational Surrogacy under the new statute. Like other states with statutes permitting surrogacy, e.g., California, the pre-birth order does not become effective until the moment of birth.


Can both Intended Parents be declared the legal parents in either a pre-birth or post-birth order if at least one parent is genetically related to the child?

• Married heterosexual couple using own egg and own sperm: Yes
• Married heterosexual couple using egg donor or sperm donor: Yes
Unmarried heterosexual couple using own egg and own sperm: Yes
• Unmarried heterosexual couple using egg donor or sperm donor: Yes
Same-sex couple using egg donor or sperm donor: Yes
• Single parent using own egg or sperm: Yes

Can both Intended Parents be declared the legal parents in a parentage order if no parent is genetically related to the child?


• Married heterosexual couple: Yes
• Unmarried heterosexual couple: Yes
• Same-sex couple: Yes
• Single parent: Yes

What are the bases for venue? The intended parent or parents or the surrogate is a legal resident of DC; or the intended parent(s) or the surrogate has actually resided in DC for at least one year preceding the filing of the petition; or the child was born in DC.

Do results vary by venue? N/A

Is a hearing required to obtain a parentage order? No, not anticipated in the statute.

Is a pre-birth order possible in DC based on a Gestational Carrier’s plan to deliver in DC, if no party lives in DC.? No, only a post-birth order is possible in such case.

Will DC Vital Records honor a pre-birth order from another state?
Unclear

What is the typical time frame to obtain a birth certificate after delivery? 2 weeks (so long as court order was issued 4-6 weeks prior to delivery; otherwise, may take longer)

Same-Sex Couples

How are same-sex parents named on the final birth certificate? Parent and Parent

Can an international same-sex male couple obtain an initial birth certificate naming the biological father and Gestational Carrier? Uncertain, because statute does not cover.

Can they subsequently obtain a birth certificate naming only the biological father or both fathers, with no mention of the Gestational Carrier? Yes 

Can the non-biological parent in a same-sex couple obtain a second parent adoption based solely on the fact that the child was born in the District of Columbia?
Yes

If no, will DC Vital Records give full faith and credit to a second parent adoption order from another state and add the second parent to the birth certificate? Yes

SECOND PARENT & STEPPARENT ADOPTIONS FOR DC RESIDENTS

Note: This situation arises if the child is born outside of the District of Columbia. The parents then return to the District of Columbia to obtain a second parent adoption or stepparent adoption in the District of Columbia.

Will courts in the District of Columbia grant second parent adoptions or stepparent adoptions to heterosexual couples living in the District ofColumbia? Yes

Does the couple need to be married? No


Will courts in the District of Columbia grant second parent adoptions or stepparent adoptions to same-sex couples living in the District of Columbia? Yes
Does the couple need to be married? No

EGG AND SPERM DONATION

Is there a statute or published case law that addresses the rights of a donor over the resulting eggs, sperm, embryo or child? Yes, under the new statute, a gamete or embryo donor who is not an intended parent and that donor's spouse or domestic partner, if any, shall not be the parent or parents of the child, and shall not have any rights, powers, privileges, immunities, duties, or obligations with respect to the child. Sec. 16-407(a)(4).

TRADITIONAL SURROGACY IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Traditional Surrogacy is permitted by the new statute. The statute provides that the court’s order of parentage shall not be issued in a Traditional Surrogacy case for at least 48 hours after the birth of the child.

State law information provided by the following attorneys practicing Reproductive Law in this state:
 
Diane S. Hinson

Jennifer Ahern

Michelle Misler
Chevy Chase, MD
diane@creativefamilyconnections.com
(240) 235-6006

Jennifer Fairfax
Silver Spring, MD
jfairfax@jenniferfairfax.com
(301) 221-9651

Other attorneys practicing Reproductive Law in this state:

Sogand Zamani, Esq.
Washington, D.C.
info@zamaniassociates.com
http://zamaniassociates.com

Law Office of Brian Esser
brian@esserlawoffice.com
www.esserlawoffice.com

This is a copyrighted document and therefore protected by the copyright laws of the United States. Violation of these laws is a punishable offense under the US Copyright laws and, depending on the method of transmission, under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Any retransmission or use of this document or any map herein is expressly prohibited without prior and express authorization of Creative Family Connections LLC.

Creative Family Connections LLC is not providing legal advice to users of this website, nor does use of any of the maps or summaries on this website constitute or create any attorney-client relationship between Creative Family Connections LLC and users of this site.

This website is not intended to substitute for consulting with legal counsel in the appropriate local jurisdiction. Creative Family Connections makes no warranties that the information on this site is current, accurate, or that favorable results that have been obtained in prior cases will be obtained in future cases.


Please advise us of any state law updates at map@creativefamilyconnections.com.