Code of the District of Columbia

§ 16–408. Court order of parentage.

(a) A petition for parentage for the intended parent or parents of a child may be filed by the intended parent or parents or the surrogate in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia at any time after confirmation of the pregnancy.

(b) The Superior Court of the District of Columbia will have jurisdiction over a petition filed under subsection (a) of this section if the court determines that:

(1) The intended parent or parents or the surrogate is a legal resident of the District;

(2) The intended parent or parents or the surrogate has actually resided in the District for at least one year preceding the filing of the petition; or

(3) The child was born in the District.

(c) A petition for parentage shall include:

(1) An affidavit by the medical professional who oversaw the embryo transfer or insemination attesting to the facts pertaining to the creation of the embryo and the embryo transfer or insemination, if applicable;

(2) A copy of the executed surrogacy agreement;

(3) An affidavit by each party attesting to each party's identity and that no other proceedings exist which could affect the current proceedings; and

(4) An affidavit by an attorney representing each party, attesting:

(A) That the attorney did not represent both the intended parent or parents and the surrogate and the surrogate's spouse or domestic partner, if any; and

(B) That the terms of the surrogacy agreement comply with the requirements of this chapter.

(d) The order of parentage issued under this section shall:

(1) Declare the intended parent or parents to be the parent or parents of the child;

(2)(A) Direct the Registrar of Vital Records ("Registrar") to issue the certificate of birth naming the intended parent or parents as the parent or parents; or

(B) If the intended parent or parents are named on a new certificate of birth issued after the child's discharge from the hospital, direct the Registrar:

(i) To substitute the new certificate of birth for the original certificate of birth, naming the intended parent or parents as the parent or parents; and

(ii) To seal the original certificate of birth from inspection when a new certificate of birth is issued; and

(3) Declare that the surrogate and the surrogate's spouse or domestic partner, if any, are not the legal parents of the child.

(e)(1)(A) In the case of a child born by a gestational surrogate, the court may issue an order of parentage for the child at any time after a petition for parentage has been filed. The order of parentage shall be effective upon the birth of the child.

(B) If the order of parentage is not issued before the birth of the child, the court shall issue the order as soon as possible after the birth, but no later than 45 days after the birth.

(2) In the case of a child born by a traditional surrogate, the court shall issue an order of parentage for the child no less than 48 hours and no more than 45 days after the birth of the child.

(f) An order of parentage issued under this section shall be sealed to protect the privacy of the parties and the child.


(Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-255, § 2(e), 64 DCR 2037.)