District of Columbia

Surrogacy Law in District of Columbia

District of Columbia Surrogacy Law: Types of Surrogacy

In the District of Columbia, a favorable law toward gestational surrogacy was passed in April 2017. D.C. statue  DC Law § 21-0255 codified the legality of the practice and clarified parental rights as belonging to those of the intended parents.

The legality of traditional (genetic) surrogacy in the District of Columbia is covered in the statute and requires that court parentage orders not be issued until 48 hours after the birth of the child.

In either case, the D.C. statue requires separate legal counsel, for each party, knowledgeable of reproductive law in the state.

Are There Surrogate Requirements in District of Columbia?

No specific legal requirements exist to serve as a gestational surrogate in the state of District of Columbia.

Does District of Columbia Surrogacy Law Allow for Pre-Birth Orders?

Parentage Orders: Parentage orders are generally granted pre and post birth to intended parents, using a gestational surrogate and they go into effect the moment of birth. For traditional surrogate cases, the parentage order cannot be granted until the surrogate signs the court papers and at least 48 hours have passed since the child’s birth.

For pre-birth orders, the conditions under which intended parents can be declared legal parents if at least one parent is genetically related to the child are listed below:

Yes

Married heterosexual couples, using their own egg and own sperm
Unmarried heterosexual couples, using their own egg and own sperm
Married heterosexual couples, using an egg or sperm donor
Unmarried heterosexual couple using an egg or sperm donor
Married same sex couples, using a sperm or egg donor
Unmarried same sex couples, using a sperm or egg donor
Single parent using own egg or sperm

No

For pre-birth orders, the conditions under which intended parents can be declared legal parents if neither parent is genetically related to the child are listed below:

Yes

Married heterosexual couples
Unmarried heterosexual couples
Married same sex couples
Unmarried same sex couples
Single parent

No

Whose names go on the birth certificate in District of Columbia?

Intended parents are listed with the designation “parent and parent.”

A same-sex male couple can obtain a birth certificate naming both fathers as the parents using a court issued Birth Order. A non-biological parent can receive a parental designation solely based on the child being born in the District of Columbia; alternatively, they will honor a second-parent adoption obtained in another state and amend the birth certificate accordingly.

Surrogacy Conditions for Same-Sex Couples in District of Columbia

Conditions are favorable for same-sex couple to use a surrogate in D.C.  Same-Sex couples are treated the same as heterosexual couples under the statute and they can be married or unmarried and use their own genetics and/or donors.

Are There Options for Unmarried Intended Parents in the state of District of Columbia?

Yes, marriage is not a requirement under the statute so unmarried couples are treated the same as married couples

Egg Donation Law

District of Columbia Code Sec. 16-407(a)(4) applies to both sperm and egg donation used in assisted conception, and states that no donor has rights or interest over a child born of the process.

State law information verified by the following (ART) Assisted Reproductive Law attorney licensed in District of Columbia*

Jennifer Fairfax, Esq
Family Formation Law Offices
827 Woodside Parkway
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
Phone: 301.221.9651
Fax: 240.491.9551

https://www.jenniferfairfax.com

* This information is for general informational purposes only and is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. We strongly recommend retaining legal counsel, knowledgeable of reproductive law in the state.