Chapter 8 covers children born through a surrogacy agreement, called a “gestational carrier agreement.” Chapter 8 contains specific requirements for who can be a gestational carrier and the formalities that must be honored before Vermont will recognize a person as a parent of a child born through surrogacy.
With one exception, intended parents cannot use this section for a surrogate mother to carry her biological child for the intended parents. The one exception is when the surrogate mother is the sister of the intended mother.
Example 1: Brandon and Christopher want a child. Samantha agrees to carry a child that is Brandon’s biological child and the child of an egg donor. All the requirements of Chapter 8 are met, including that Brandon and Christopher intend to become parents and Samantha does not. Brandon and Christopher become parents; Samantha does not.
Example 2: Ryan and Justin want a child but neither can or wants to donate sperm. Ashley agrees to carry a child conceived with the sperm and egg of unknown donors. All the requirements of Chapter 8 are met. Ryan and Justin become parents; Ashley does not.
Example 3: Nicole and Josh want a child but Nicole does not produce eggs. Nicole’s sister Stephanie agrees to carry a child for Nicole and Josh. Stephanie is inseminated with Josh’s sperm through a medical procedure (not through intercourse [§802(a)(1)]). If all the requirements of Chapter 8 are meet, Nicole and Josh will become parents; Stephanie will not.
Chapter 8 does not cover children who are conceived by sexual intercourse, even if there is a donor who does not intend to be a parent. Chapter 7 covers children born through assisted reproduction when there is not a surrogacy agreement.
If you have questions or want legal counsel regarding parentage through a gestational carrier, we recommend that you talk with a private lawyer. Vermont Legal Aid and Vermont Law Help do not give advice in this area. The Vermont Bar Association can help you find a lawyer who practices in this area of the law.