Gestational Surrogacy is permitted by statute, DC Law 21-0255.
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)
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
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
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 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
Chevy Chase, MD
Silver Spring, MD
Other attorneys practicing Reproductive Law in this state:
Sogand Zamani, Esq.
Law Office of Brian Esser
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