Virginia helps parents have children through donated embryos
After a costly, yearlong legal battle to secure legal rights as Jacob’s parents, Jay and his husband Rick got help from an unlikely ally – former Republican Gov. George Allen. Allen convinced some conservative Republicans to defy far-right critics in an election year and join with Democrats to approve the bill.
“You’d hate to see what they went through happen to any other families,” said Allen, who was governor from 1994 to 1998.
The GOP-controlled Virginia legislature passed legislation that will make it easier for gay, straight or single parents to have children through donated embryos.
The bill would replace “husband” and “wife” with the gender-neutral “spouse” to reflect the 2015 legalization of same-sex marriage, would allow single people to use a gestational carrier – a woman who carries a couple’s fertilized embryo to term – and would confirm that only a carrier with a genetic link to the embryo can void a contract.
The bill also would eliminate the need for parents to go through the costly adoption process after the birth of a child from a donated embryo, which she said could have saved Jay and Rick from the stress of their yearlong legal battle.