A new law in Virginia, signed by Governor Ralph Northam last month, should make it easier for same-sex male couples and single people to become parents through surrogacy, and should also strengthen their rights.
In a recent blog post, we shared the story of Jay Timmons and Rick Olson, a gay couple from Virginia who married in 2008 and decided to add to their family of four in 2015 using a donor embryo and a gestational carrier in Wisconsin. Shockingly, just weeks before the birth of their son, Jacob, a Wisconsin judge denied their application to become the child’s legal parents, making an orphan of him. Thankfully, that ruling was ultimately reversed. Wanting to make sure other same-sex couples in Virginia didn’t run into similar problems, Timmons and Olson championed a bill in the Virginia legislature aiming to smooth the way for others to become parents through surrogacy.
The new law, named “Jacob’s Law” for Timmons’ and Olson’s son, garnered bipartisan support and easily passed the Virginia General Assembly earlier this year. The law was signed in June in a ceremony at Jacob’s preschool attended by Timmons, Olson, and Jacob, along with their family members and friends. At the signing, Gov. Northam explained that the goal of the new legislation is ultimately to protect Virginia children and their families. “We want our children to have a home where they are cared for and loved, and that’s what Jacob has,” the Governor said.
At The Surrogacy Law Center, our goal is to help intended parents through the legal steps involved in surrogacy arrangements. We know first-hand just how overwhelming the steps involved can seem; we are committed to providing the guidance and support you deserve. Ready to learn more? Contact our office today!