Legality of Surrogacy in Vermont
Vermont has a comprehensive parentage law that went into effect in 2018. This new law created a specific process to be followed when pursuing gestational surrogacy in Vermont.
We will walk you step-by-step through this process! The key thing to keep in mind is that this new law allows surrogacy to take place in Vermont through a smooth and easy process. If you follow the procedure, you will automatically be the legal parents of the child immediately upon birth.
One step in this process is that you will meet with a mental health professional to make sure you have the tools to be emotionally prepared for the journey ahead. Your surrogate will also have such a meeting in addition to her full mental health evaluation that we perform as part of our screening process.
We pre-screen our Vermont surrogate candidates to make sure they meet the basic requirements of the law before we accept them into our program. The last step of the required screening process—the medical evaluation—will take place at the IVF clinic you have chosen.
The legal process involves a written legal contract with two separate attorneys—one for you and one for your surrogate. The surrogate’s spouse must also participate in the contract process. Vermont law requires that certain specific aspects of the contemplated medical care (including payment of medical bills) be set out in the written contract. You attorney will go over this with you in more detail. Once the final contract is ready, you will sign it in front of a witness.
The lawyers will attach a declaration page to the final contract, which can later be relied upon by the doctors and the birth hospital involved with your arrangement. This declaration page is also used to obtain a birth certificate listing you as the legal parents of your child.
The final step is a court process involved to obtain a birth order that declares you to be the legal parents of the child resulting from the surrogacy arrangement. Your attorney will ask that the court keep its files “sealed” so that they are not made available to the public. And your child’s birth certificate will be prepared after the birth in the same manner as for all other children born in Vermont.