An assisted reproductive technology is any kind of process designed to generate a pregnancy that involves some sort of medical or scientific procedure. Any time that parties are going to engage in IVF or some other process to assist them in becoming pregnant and the two donors of biological material are not the two parents who will be raising the children, it is important to have a Virginia assisted reproductive technology lawyer involved.
Additionally, if individuals plan to use the services of a surrogate to carry the baby to term, the parties should also consult with an attorney before engaging in that process, as an experienced family attorney will best be able to advise any family on their various options.
There are several assistive reproductive options that a Virginia assisted reproductive technology attorney will be able to help explain to a couple trying to get pregnant. Sometimes parties will require a donor egg, some parties will require donor sperm, and in some circumstances, parties require both. They can go to various banks to be able to acquire those materials to be able to have in vitro fertilization to create a pregnancy. Additionally, due to various reasons, whether physiological or if parents may be of the same sex, sometimes surrogates are used when the parties cannot carry a pregnancy to term on their own.
There are a lot of potential legal issues that can arise in assisted reproductive cases. For example, before using a surrogate for the pregnancy, there are certain parameters that need to be spelled out in terms of the expectations of the intended parents and the surrogates. Those are important to lay out with the help of a assisted reproductive technology attorney in Virginia prior to engaging in the surrogacy so that the parties can be sure that everybody has the same expectation and is comfortable with the arrangements. With surrogacy, there is also the possibility that a person could encounter a situation where upon the birth of the child, the surrogate does not want to give up the child.
When it comes to IVF where an individual has a donor egg or a donor sperm, there could be issues relating to the fact that one or both of the intended parents are not the biological parents. There can be certain legal implications later on if the parties should end their relationship and there are custody issues.
Legal Issues for Same-Sex Couples
Particular to same-sex couples is the issue of the legal or biological connection to the child. With a same-sex couple, either the donor egg or the donor sperm, and occasionally both, will not belong to one of the intended parents. As a result, there are certain things that can be done in deciding how the scientific process will work that could have legal implications for one or both parents.
Additionally, it is important for people engaging in that process to understand what their legal rights might be afterward with the assistance of a Virginia assisted reproductive lawyer. A lot of times when a same-sex couple engages in some sort of assisted reproductive technology, when the child is born, there are certain steps that need to be taken to ensure that both intended parents have a concrete, legal relationship with the child so that if the parties should split up later, they are both considered to be parents in terms of a custody and visitation determination.