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GESTATIONAL SURROGACY IN RHODE ISLAND

Gestational Surrogacy is permitted in Rhode Island under its amended Uniform Parentage Act, which took effect on January 1, 2021.

PRE-BIRTH PARENTAGE ORDERS

Do courts grant pre-birth parentage orders? Yes, but only so long as one of the Intended Parents is a US resident.

Can both Intended Parents be declared the legal parents in a pre-birth order if at least one parent is genetically related to the child (and if one Intended Parent resides in the US)?

  • Married heterosexual couple using own egg and own sperm: Yes
  • Married heterosexual couple using an egg donor or sperm donor: Yes
  • Unmarried heterosexual couple using own egg and own sperm: Yes
  • Unmarried heterosexual couple using an egg donor or sperm donor: Yes
  • Same-sex couple using an 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 pre-birth order if no parent is genetically related to the child (and if one Intended Parent resides in the US)?

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

What are the bases for venue? The county of the Gestational Carrier’s residence, the county of the Intended Parents’ residence, or the county where the child will be (or was) born.

Do results vary by venue? No.

Is a hearing required to obtain a pre-birth order? Yes, but only the Gestational Carrier is required to attend.

Is a pre-birth order possible in Rhode Island based on a Gestational Carrier’s plan to deliver in Rhode Island, if no party lives in Rhode Island? Yes, so long as one Intended Parent is a US resident.

Will Rhode Island Vital Records honor a pre-birth order from another state? Yes, Section 15-8.1-115 requires the state to give full faith and credit to a determination of parentage from another state.

What is the typical time frame to obtain a birth certificate after delivery? 10 days

SAME-SEX COUPLE

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? No, parentage orders require that at least one intended parent must be a US resident. Moreover, even If one intended parent is a US resident, it is not possible under the Act to name the Gestational Carrier as a legal parent.

Alternatively, can they obtain an initial birth certificate naming only the biological father? Only if that parent is a US resident.

Can they subsequently obtain a birth certificate naming both fathers? Only if one intended parent is a US resident.

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 Rhode Island (i.e., neither of the Intended Parents lives in Rhode Island)? No

If no, will Rhode Island Vital Records honor a second parent adoption order from another state and add the second parent to the birth certificate? Yes

SECOND PARENT & STEPPARENT ADOPTIONS FOR RHODE ISLAND RESIDENTS

Note: This situation typically arises if the child is born outside of the state. The parents (RI residents) then return to Rhode Island to obtain a second parent adoption or stepparent adoption in Rhode Island.

Will courts in Rhode Island grant second parent adoptions or stepparent adoptions to heterosexual couples living in Rhode Island? Yes
Does the couple need to be married? No

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

EGG, SPERM, & EMBRYO 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, Sec. 15-8.1-702 (2020) specifies that a “donor is not a parent of a child conceived through assisted reproduction,” unless the donor intends to parent the child.   

 

TRADITIONAL SURROGACY IN RHODE ISLAND

Traditional Surrogacy is permitted only if the surrogate is a family member of the Intended Parents and the surrogacy arrangement and agreement otherwise meets all requirements specified in Article 8 of the Uniform Parentage Act (including the requirement that one of the Intended Parents resides in the US).


State law information provided by the following attorneys practicing Reproductive Law in this state:

Michael Grant
mbgesq@aol.com
(401)219-0400