Traditional (genetic) surrogacy is permitted in Vermont because no statute or published case law prohibits it. However, except for family members, it is not covered by the new parentage law, and so traditional surrogacy will be treated like adoption.
Is Surrogacy Legal in Vermont?
Surrogacy Law in Vermont
Vermont Surrogacy Law: Types of Surrogacy
Are There Surrogate Requirements in Vermont?
The basic requirements to become a surrogate are set forth in the new Vermont Parentage Act.
- be at least 21 years of age;
- have completed a medical evaluation that includes a mental health consultation;
- have had independent legal representation of the person’s own choosing and paid for by the intended parent or parents regarding the terms of the gestational carrier agreement and have been advised of the potential legal consequences of the gestational carrier agreement; and
- not have contributed gametes that will ultimately result in an embryo that the gestational carrier will attempt to carry to term, unless the gestational carrier is entering into an agreement with a family member.
Does Vermont Surrogacy Law Allow for Pre-Birth Orders?
Parentage Orders: Courts in Vermont do grant pre-birth orders. We recommend that this process be commenced immediately following the first trimester.
The conditions under which intended parents could be declared legal parents with a pre-birth order if at least one parent is genetically related to the child are listed below:
- Married heterosexual couples, using their own egg and own sperm
- Unmarried heterosexual couples, using their own egg and own sperm
- Married heterosexual couples, using a sperm or egg donor
- Unmarried heterosexual couples, using an egg or sperm donor
- Same sex couples, using an egg or sperm donor
- Single parents using an egg or sperm donor
For intended parents who are in no way related to the resulting child, the conditions under which intended parents could be declared legal parents with a pre-birth order are listed below:
- Married heterosexual couples
- Unmarried heterosexual couples
- Same sex couples
- Single parents
Whose names go on the birth certificate in Vermont?
Parents will be listed on the birth certificate as “parent” and “parent.”
An international same-sex male couple can obtain a birth certificate listing the biological father and gestational surrogate as parents. They can also obtain one with just the biological father listed. It cannot be expedited by the child being born in state, but a second-parent adoption could probably be obtained out of state and then documented in VT to update the birth certificate.
Surrogacy Conditions for Same-Sex Couples in Vermont
In Vermont, same-sex couples are not treated any differently than other couples or singles. Pre-birth orders are highly recommended as not all states are as friendly to the parentage rights of same-sex couples, and states such as Michigan and New York currently outlaw compensated surrogacy arrangements.
Are There Options for Unmarried Intended Parents in the state of Vermont?
Unmarried Intended Parents are on equal footing as married parents, though without the marital presumption of joint parentage, it is especially important for these couples to obtain pre-birth orders.
Egg Donation Law
Chapter 7 of the Vermont Parentage Act states, “A donor is not a parent of a child conceived through assisted reproduction.”
State law information verified by the following (ART) Assisted Reproductive Law attorney licensed in Vermont*
Kurt M. Hughes
Tarnelli & Hughes Family Law, PLLC
The Maltex Building
431 Pint Street, Suite 301
Burlington, VT 05401