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In a ruling that’s being seen as a “win” for parents who adopt, conceive via in-vitro fertilization (IVF) or add to their families through surrogacy, and for those parents’ children, the Vermont Supreme Court recently established parental rights where a lower court had held none existed.
In this case, a lesbian couple was in a committed relationship for seven years, during which they planned for adoption and raised their child together. Only one of the women legally adopted the child and tried to use that as legal leverage to keep her former partner from seeing and caring for their child when the mothers’ relationship ended.
The Vermont Supreme Court agreed with arguments made on the non-adoptive mother’s behalf by LGBTQ Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), taking a child-centered approach similar to that taken by other New England courts in recent years.
For parents in Vermont who don’t have biological ties to, or have not legally adopted, the children they are parenting, the Vermont ruling should provide some peace of mind and assurance that intended parents should, in fact, have all of the intended rights that come with being a parent.
There are many different ways to build a family. When considering using IVF or surrogacy, working with a resource who can help you put the legal framework in place from the start can further protect the rights of both intended parents. It’s also critical to ensure contracts for surrogacy, egg, sperm and embryo donation are designed to protect you – and your child.
No matter what your legal needs may be, we are here for you. We will carefully listen to you to create a contract and a plan to help build your family that meets your wishes and needs. Contact us today to learn more!