State Laws and Legislation

Vermont Surrogacy Law

Summary: It is not abundantly clear that Vermont law recognizes surrogacy agreements, but it appears that such agreements are lawful. Furthermore, it is likely that surrogacy agreements are available to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals and couples in Vermont.

Explanation: There is no case law dealing directly with surrogacy, but at least one case indirectly indicated an acceptance of such agreements in Vermont. In the groundbreaking 1999 case that led to the creation of civil unions in Vermont, the state itself argued that restricting marriage to different-sex couples would serve the important goal of minimizing complications in surrogacy agreements. This suggests a basic acceptance of such agreements. Furthermore, in its holding the Court granted state-level benefits and responsibilities associated with marriage to same-sex couples, and such likely includes that acceptance of surrogacy.

It is legal in Vermont for same-sex couples to jointly adopt, as well as for individuals to adopt the children of their same-sex partner. Moreover, now that same-sex couples have the right to marry in Vermont, it would stand to reason that surrogacy agreements would be extended to these couples if they are considered enforceable at all in the state.

Citations: VT. STAT. ANN. tit. 15A § 1-102(b) (2009); Baker v. State, 170 Vt. 194 (Vt. 1999).

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Updated: Wed, September 09, 2009 - 11:00:51