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Karen M. Holman Aug. 23, 2022

Is It Possible to Terminate a Surrogacy Contract?

If you are having a child through a surrogate or acting as a surrogate, then it is essential to have a contract. This agreement provides protection for all parties and is imperative to preventing potential harmful problems in the future.

Once you enter into an agreement, you may be able to change your mind, but it highly depends on the timing. Virginia Law specifies the exact circumstances under which either party can end the surrogacy contract.

If You Are the Surrogate

If you are the surrogate, you may have a right to end the contract if you are a biological parent. The law allows you the chance to back out within 180 days of the last attempt at conception. You will have to go to court to do this and show the court you have a valid reason. The judge will also want to ensure that understand the consequences of canceling the agreement. If the court approves the termination of the contract, the intended parents cannot hold you liable for exercising your right to cancel under the law.

If You Are a Parent

If you are a parent who is hiring a surrogate, you may be able to cancel the contract before conception. Once the surrogate is pregnant, you no longer have the right to end the agreement. Prior to a pregnancy, you can provide the surrogate with a written notice you want to end the agreement. You also must file that notice with the court, which will then legally end the contract.

Contracts help protect all parties, but the law also ensures that if you sign a contract and later decide you want to back out that you have the ability to do so.


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In my years of practicing law, I've seen many legal changes and their impacts on the lives of my clients. One such change is the Dobbs ruling which has the potential to affect assisted reproductive technologies (ART), particularly in vitro fertilization (IVF).

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