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Parentage Definitions

Adjudicated Parent

A person determined by a court to be the parent of a child.

Alleged Genetic Parent

A person who is alleged to be—or alleges to be—the genetic/possible genetic parent of a child whose parentage has not yet been determined by a court.

The term includes an alleged genetic father and alleged genetic mother.
It does not include a:

  • Presumed parent
  • Donor OR
  • Person whose parental rights have been terminated or declared not to exist

De Facto Parent

A person who has:

  • Lived with the child for a significant period of time (not necessarily from birth)
  • Consistently acted as the child's parent without expecting financial compensation in return
  • Held out the child as their own AND
  • Developed a parent-child relationship with the child


A person who contributes a gamete or gametes or an embryo or embryos to another person for assisted reproduction or gestation.

Intended Parent

A person (married or unmarried) who demonstrates the intent to be legally bound as the parent of a child resulting from:

  • Assisted reproduction OR 
  • A gestational carrier agreement

Presumed Parent

A person is presumed to be the parent of a child if they:

  • Gave birth to the child (except for a surrogate)
  • Were married or civilly joined to the person who gave birth to the child:
    • When the child was born, OR
    • Up to 300 days before the child was born if the marriage or union has ended.
  • Married the person who gave birth to the child after the child was born, claimed to be the parent and agreed to be named as the parent on the child's birth certificate.
  • Lived in the same home with the child from birth through at least the first two years of their life, openly identified themselves as the child's parent and the other parent agrees that they are the child's parent.

Presumption of Parentage

A presumption of parentage may be overcome or confirmed in a court proceeding.

Read the Vermont Parentage Act (Title 15C) to learn more.