In Virginia, the legal requirements and regulations for gestational carrier agreements are outlined in the Virginia Code, specifically under Chapter 22 of Title 20 (§ 20-156 to § 20-165).
Here are some key legal requirements of a gestational carrier agreement in Virginia:
- Written Agreement: The gestational carrier agreement must be in writing and signed by all parties involved, including the intended parents and the gestational carrier and her spouse.
- Medical Evaluation: The gestational carrier must undergo a medical evaluation to determine her suitability for carrying a pregnancy. This evaluation typically includes physical and psychological assessments.
- Independent Legal Counsel: Both the intended parents and the gestational carrier must have independent legal representation. Each party should have their own attorney to advise and advocate for their respective interests throughout the process.
- Terms and Provisions: The agreement should clearly outline various terms and provisions, including but not limited to:
- The rights, responsibilities, and obligations of the intended parents and the gestational carrier.
- Reimbursements for the gestational carrier, including medical expenses, legal fees, and other related costs.
- Issues related to health insurance coverage for the gestational carrier.
- Provisions for termination of the agreement in certain circumstances.
- The intended parents' rights to the child, and any legal and financial responsibilities they assume.
- Parentage Order: In certain situations, after the birth of the child, the intended parents must obtain a court order establishing their legal parentage. This order ensures that the intended parents are recognized as the child's legal parents, and it terminates any rights or obligations of the gestational carrier.
It's important to note that the Virginia Code places restrictions on compensation for gestational carriers. In Virginia, gestational carriers can only receive reasonable expenses directly related to the pregnancy and surrogacy process. Commercial surrogacy, where a gestational carrier is paid beyond reasonable expenses, is not permitted under Virginia law.
Given the complex nature of gestational carrier agreements, it is strongly advisable for all parties involved to seek the assistance of an experienced attorney who specializes in reproductive law to ensure compliance with the specific legal requirements in Virginia.
If you are considering gestational surrogacy, please contact our office and one of our experienced and compassionate attorneys will be happy to help you.
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