Assisted Reproductive Law, sometimes called "ART" or "Assisted Reproductive Technology" or "Third Party Reproduction" is a family building option where a third party is involved in helping a parent or parents build or grow their family with medical intervention.
This can be a gestational carrier, an egg donor, embryo donor or sperm donor. Because of the legal issues involved in third party reproduction, it is important to work with a knowledgeable attorney and that all parties have their own attorney. When working with an agency it is prudent to also have a private attorney as the agency does not represent either party in a donor or carrier arrangement.
In Assisted Reproduction Technology cases, often you will need to obtain a birth order so that the intended parent or parents’ name will be on the original birth certificate. This would be in the case of any gestational carrier arrangement in the State of Maryland, including one involving single men or a same sex couple. In Maryland, this is usually done as a pre-birth process. The court order will determine legal parentage for the child and will also direct the hospital and/or state department of vital records to place the intended parents’ names on the birth certificate of the child that the gestational carrier delivers. The process to obtain a birth order should begin when your gestational carrier is about three or four months pregnant to ensure that there is enough time to obtain a birth order before the child is born. In the event that the child is born before the pre-birth order is obtained, a post-birth order can be obtained to have the birth certificate corrected to reflect the Intended Parents names.
In Virginia, the process is a birth certificate amendment process where the Gestational Carrier signs documents 72 hours after the child's birth which are submitted to the Virginia Department of Vital Records to name the Intended Parents on the birth certificate. Once this is completed, the Intended Parents name is placed on the birth certificate. There is no court order in this process in Virginia.
Similarly, my office will prepare or assist in the preparation of necessary paperwork in cases where affidavits, documents and other paperwork is necessary in a particular state in order for the names of the intended parents to appear on the birth certificate. We provide legal services to Surrogates and Intended Parents.