Assisted Reproductive Technology Options for Single Parents in Virginia
While the surrogacy statute in Virginia only applies to married intended parents, it is still possible for single parents – especially single women – to utilize a gestational carrier in Virginia. In situations where the Intended Mother’s egg and donor sperm is used, and DNA testing after the birth confirms that the Intended Mother is the genetic mother, then an Order of Parentage can be obtained after the birth. Such an Order finds that the Intended Mother is the legal and genetic mother and orders that her name be placed on the birth certificate. Provided that an acceptable sperm donor agreement was executed, the sperm donor will have no parental rights and the birth certificate will list only the single Intended Mother as the parent.
If the Intended Mother’s egg is not used – but, instead the carrier contributes her own egg or carried donor egg or a donated embryo, then a single parent adoption must be performed after the birth. Note that these situations are legally risky as the Intended Mother may have limited recourse should the carrier breach the contract and decide to keep the child.
Situations involving a single Intended Father are trickier. If the Intended Father’s sperm is used, then his name easily can be placed on the birth certificate if the carrier is unmarried. If the carrier is married, then an Order of Parentage generally will need to be obtained after DNA testing established that the Intended Father is the genetic father and that the carrier’s husband is not the genetic father. The problem is then getting the carrier off the birth certificate. If donor egg is used, it may be possible to utilize DNA testing to establish that the carrier is not the genetic parent – but whether a court in Virginia will enter an Order of Non-Parentage and the removal of the carrier’s name from the birth certificate is not believed to have been attempted yet. The other option is for the carrier to not name the Intended Father on the birth certificate and, instead, do a single parent adoption. This is an evolving and new area of the law.
Of course, if either the Intended Parent or the carrier resides in another state – then other options offered by the other state may be considered and utilized to accomplish the objectives of the parties.
See also: Recommended Adult Books for Gay, Lesbian And Single Parents Who Conceive Children Through Assisted Reproductive Technologies and Recommended Children’s Books for Gay, Lesbian And Single Parents Who Conceive Children Through Assisted Reproductive Technologies