Legal Considerations for Lesbian Couples

Lesbian couples are advised to have professional legal assistance when undergoing IVF using an egg donor and/or a gestational surrogate.

The following are some of the issues requiring consideration and legal consultation:

Donors: Sperm, Egg and Embryo
• Known donor may seek visitation/involvement
• Laws/clinic policies vary re: disclosing who provided genetic material
• Laws/policies differ re: owner of donated material (one or both partners)

Prenatal and Perinatal Care
• Laws vary re: whether nonpregnant partner can participate in prenatal visits and birth
• Living wills are needed to determine fate of embryo if pregnant partner becomes incapacitated

Surrogacy
• Banned in several states
• Courts may rule in favor of surrogate if she wants to keep baby

Second-Parent Adoptions and Birth Certificate
• State laws vary re: who can adopt and parent names on birth certificate
• Affects custody, hospital visitation, travel, taxes….

Legal Considerations for Lesbian Couples
Lesbian couples are advised to have professional legal assistance when undergoing IVF using an egg donor and/or a gestational surrogate.