New York Considers Legalizing Compensated Surrogacy

The Child-Parent Security Act clarifies the legal rights of parents and children born in non-traditional ways, such as paid surrogacy.

Compensated surrogacy

New York is one of four states that forbid paid surrogacy, and Senator Hoylman is pursuing a bill that would change that. It is called the Child-Parent Security Act (CPSA), and would legalize compensating a woman to carry a child, while extending legal protection to the intended parents. Currently the practice is illegal in New York, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. New York couples that wish to have a child through surrogacy have to travel out of state for a legal arrangement, which can add tens of thousands of dollars to their total expenses. Hoylman had his daughter through compensated surrogacy across state lines, and wants to extend this option and simplify the process for more hopeful parents in his home state.

“The Child-Parent Security Act is long overdue legislation that reflects society’s evolving recognition of how families are formed and protects the parties who participate in the process,” says Laurie B. Goldheim, president of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, who helped draft the bill. “The CPSA provides legal and timely clarity for the adults and, importantly, the children born as a result of assisted reproductive technology methods, so that the child’s legal parents are recognized at the time of birth.”

Many states banned paid surrogacy after a 1988 case in which the surrogate mother changed her mind, and sought to parent the baby. She was ultimately given visitation rights, while the intended parents kept the child. However, since that case, surrogacy scenarios have changed.

In vitro fertilization allows for gestational surrogacy, in which the carrier has no genetic connection to the child, and the intended parents are often the genetic parents. In traditional surrogacy, which the Hoylman bill does not endorse, the surrogate’s own eggs are fertilized.

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