Code of the District of Columbia

§ 16–401. Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the term:

(1) "Ancillary expenses" means those expenses that a surrogate incurs due to the surrogacy, including legal and counseling expenses, actual lost wages, compensation for risk, inconvenience, forbearance, or restriction from usual activities, insurance premiums, expenses associated with recovery, childcare expenses, housekeeping expenses, birthing classes, nutritional expenses, maternity clothing, and travel expenses incurred during the pregnancy and directly related to the surrogacy.

(2) "Assisted reproduction" or "assisted reproductive technology" means the treatments or procedures that include handling both eggs and sperm and embryos by a medical professional for the purpose of establishing a pregnancy.

(3) "Assisted reproduction center" means the medical facility that performs the medical procedures related to collaborative reproduction.

(4) "Child" means a child who is born as the result of collaborative reproduction.

(5) "Collaborative reproduction" means assisted reproduction that involves a surrogate or a donor and an intended parent or parents. The term "collaborative reproduction" does not include the birth of a child conceived by means of sexual intercourse or the birth of a child conceived through assisted reproduction by an individual or couple who use their own gametes and intend to gestate and parent the child themselves.

(6) "Domestic partner" shall have the same meaning as provided in [[§ 32-701(3)]].

(7) "Domestic partnership" shall have the same meaning as provided in [[§ 32-701(4)]].

(8) "Donor" means a person other than an intended parent who contributes gametes or embryos for use in collaborative reproduction, including a traditional surrogate.

(9) "Embryo" means one or more fertilized eggs before week 8 of a pregnancy.

(10) "Embryo transfer" means the medical procedure of transferring an embryo to a uterus.

(11) "Fertilization" means a multi-step process that results in the formation of a zygote by the union of a sperm and an egg.

(12) "Fetus" means an embryo that has developed during the period of gestation between 8 weeks and the birth of the child.

(13) "Gamete" means a male (sperm) or female (egg) human reproductive cell.

(14) "Gestational surrogate" means an individual who is not the intended parent, who has not provided the egg used to form any embryo that is transferred to the gestational surrogate's uterus, and who agrees to become pregnant, gestate, and deliver, through collaborative reproduction, the intended parent's child on behalf of the intended parent.

(15) "Insemination" means either intracervical insemination, the fertility treatment that involves the placing of sperm inside a vagina to facilitate fertilization, or intrauterine insemination, the fertility treatment that involves the placing of sperm inside a uterus to facilitate fertilization. The term "insemination" does not include the placement of sperm inside a vagina through sexual intercourse.

(16) "Intended parent" means an individual, married or unmarried, who manifests the intent in a written agreement to be legally bound as the parent of a child.

(17) "Medical evaluation" means an evaluation and consultation by a medical professional.

(18) "Medical expenses" means those expenses not otherwise covered by medical insurance that a surrogate incurs due to the medical effects of surrogacy, including expenses directly related to the pregnancy and expenses related to complications or other medical issues arising from the pregnancy.

(19) "Order of parentage" means a judgment by a court of competent jurisdiction in which the parent of a child is declared.

(20) "Parent" means an individual who is legally recognized to have all rights provided under District law with respect to a child.

(21) "Surrogacy agreement" means a written contract between a surrogate, the surrogate's spouse or domestic partner, if any, and the intended parent or parents, pursuant to which the intended parent or parents shall be recognized as the parent or parents of the child.

(22) "Surrogate" means an individual who is not the intended parent and does not intend to parent the child, but who agrees to become pregnant on behalf of an intended parent through collaborative reproduction with the intention of gestating and delivering the intended parent's child. The term "surrogate" includes a gestational and traditional surrogate.

(23) "Traditional surrogate" means an individual who is not the intended parent and does not intend to parent the child, but who agrees to donate their own egg and to become pregnant, gestate, and deliver, through collaborative reproduction, the intended parent's child on behalf of the intended parent.

(24) "Zygote" means a single cell resulting from fertilization of an egg by sperm.


(Mar. 17, 1993, D.C. Law 9-219, § 2, 40 DCR 582; Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-255, § 18(a), 44 DCR 1271; Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-255, § 2(c), 64 DCR 2037.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-401.