Reproduction | Carriers - Surrogates
Frequenly Asked Questions

The Adoption and Surrogacy Law Center

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT GESTATIONAL CARRIER AND SURROGATE AGREEMENTS IN VIRGINIA AND AS WRITTEN BY THE ADOPTION & SURROGACY LAW CENTER

By: Colleen M, Quinn

The Adoption & Surrogacy Law Center at

Locke & Quinn

http://www.reproductionattorney.com

quinn@lockequinn.com

Q:  What is the difference between a gestational carrier and a surrogate?

A:   A surrogate is one who contributes her own egg and carries the child. She sometimes is referred to as a “true surrogate.” A gestational carrier carries a child but is not genetically related to the child. Sometimes the term “surrogate” is loosely used to apply to both.

Q:  Are surrogacy contracts permitted under Virginia law?

A: Yes. Virginia is fortunate to be one of only a handful of states that actually has a statute in place governing assisted reproductive technologies. This statute was first enacted back in 1994.

Q:  Why does the Agreement prepared by the Adoption & Surrogacy Law Center say that the child will be related to Intended Mother “and/or” Intended Father if we intend to use Intended Mother’s eggs and Intended Father’s sperm?

A: Virginia’s law on the “Status of Children of Assisted Conception” only requires that one of the parents be genetically related in order to use Virginia’s assisted reproductive technology statute. Accordingly, we only need to state that at least one genetic relationship will exist. By stating “and/or” in the contract – it then gives the parties flexibility to use the same contract (without having to modify it) in the event that donor egg or donor sperm needs to be used in lieu of an intended parent’s egg or sperm.

Q:  Why does the Agreement reference having a home study done?

A: This is just a safeguard in the event that for some reason the child that comes into existence is not related to either of the Intended Parents. In such an event (e.g., use of donor egg and donor sperm, or lab error), then we would have to do an adoption proceeding, which would necessitate having a home study done.

Q:  Do we have to go to court?

A: No, not normally. The only time you would need to go to court is when we do the pre-birth Order process (which is the more expensive process that requires a home study).

Q:  Is it lawful to pay “compensation” under Virginia law?

There is a lot of confusion about this. It is not lawful to pay “compensation” or a “fee” or a “bonus” to a carrier or surrogate under Virginia law. However, it is lawful to advance and/or reimburse reasonable medical and ancillary expenses related to the pregnancy and birth – this includes reasonable household and living expenses. Such amounts typically are paid on a monthly basis in order to reflect such monthly expenses. Expenses related to maternity clothes, legal fees, childcare, house cleaning, replacement services, transportation, companion care and the like are permissible as well.

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Frequently Asked Questions


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT GESTATIONAL CARRIER AND SURROGATE AGREEMENTS IN VIRGINIA AND AS WRITTEN BY THE ADOPTION & SURROGACY LAW CENTER

By: Colleen M, Quinn

The Adoption & Surrogacy Law Center at

Locke & Quinn

http://www.reproductionattorney.com

quinn@lockequinn.com

Q:  What is the difference between a gestational carrier and a surrogate?

A:   A surrogate is one who contributes her own egg and carries the child. She sometimes is referred to as a “true surrogate.” A gestational carrier carries a child but is not genetically related to the child. Sometimes the term “surrogate” is loosely used to apply to both.

Q:  Are surrogacy contracts permitted under Virginia law?

A: Yes. Virginia is fortunate to be one of only a handful of states that actually has a statute in place governing assisted reproductive technologies. This statute was first enacted back in 1994.

Q:  Why does the Agreement prepared by the Adoption & Surrogacy Law Center say that the child will be related to Intended Mother “and/or” Intended Father if we intend to use Intended Mother’s eggs and Intended Father’s sperm?

A: Virginia’s law on the “Status of Children of Assisted Conception” only requires that one of the parents be genetically related in order to use Virginia’s assisted reproductive technology statute. Accordingly, we only need to state that at least one genetic relationship will exist. By stating “and/or” in the contract – it then gives the parties flexibility to use the same contract (without having to modify it) in the event that donor egg or donor sperm needs to be used in lieu of an intended parent’s egg or sperm.

Q:  Why does the Agreement reference having a home study done?

A: This is just a safeguard in the event that for some reason the child that comes into existence is not related to either of the Intended Parents. In such an event (e.g., use of donor egg and donor sperm, or lab error), then we would have to do an adoption proceeding, which would necessitate having a home study done.

Q:  Do we have to go to court?

A: No, not normally. The only time you would need to go to court is when we do the pre-birth Order process (which is the more expensive process that requires a home study).

Q:  Is it lawful to pay “compensation” under Virginia law?

There is a lot of confusion about this. It is not lawful to pay “compensation” or a “fee” or a “bonus” to a carrier or surrogate under Virginia law. However, it is lawful to advance and/or reimburse reasonable medical and ancillary expenses related to the pregnancy and birth – this includes reasonable household and living expenses. Such amounts typically are paid on a monthly basis in order to reflect such monthly expenses. Expenses related to maternity clothes, legal fees, childcare, house cleaning, replacement services, transportation, companion care and the like are permissible as well.

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PO BOX 11708
RICHMOND, VA 23230

PHONE: (804) 285-6253
FAX: (804) 545-9400

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