Legal Protections for Gestational Surrogacy

An outdated law that prohibits the formation of parenting contracts and exchange of payment between a gestational surrogate and new parents is the subject of a repeal effort. The Consolidated Laws of New York: Domestic Relations law states in Article 8, section 123 that “no person or other entity shall knowingly request, accept, receive, pay or give any fee compensation or other remuneration, directly or indirectly, in connection with any surrogate parenting contract, or induce, arrange or otherwise assist in arranging a surrogate parenting contract for a fee, compensation or other remuneration.” This legislation has also prevented parents of a child born through artificial insemination and gestational surrogacy to establish a legal relationship as mother and father to the child.

New York State Senator Brad Hoylman (D- Manhattan) and New York State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D- Westchester) are the leading forces behind legislation that would repeal this law. Their proposed “Child-Parent Security Act” will establish the fact that parents to a child born through artificial insemination and gestational surrogacy will be able to form a parenting contract with the surrogate mother. They will also be able to obtain a “Judgement of Parentage” from the court, which establishes the parents’ legal parentage and establishes firm legal protections for both parents and surrogates.

On May 23, 2017, the Senate bill, S17A, was passed through the New York State Senate committee. According to Hoylman, “becoming a parent should be a joyous occasion, not an illegal act. We need to legalize and regulate compensated surrogacy contracts sensibly.” As of January 3, 2018, the bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee. The bill currently sits in the New York State Assembly committee, pending action as an Assembly bill, A6959A.

Unfortunately, the bill has not seen much legislative action within the last few months. The bill remains in the New York State Assembly committee, as it did back in January. However, organizations around the state have rallied their support for the bill, including The Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (WBASNY). According to a statement released by the WBASNY, “assisted reproductive technology has evolved and so have the ethical and legal practices surrounding these arrangements.”

Becoming a new parent through gestational surrogacy can often be stressful. If you are looking to become a parent via gestational surrogacy and have any concerns or are seeking additional information on the Child-Parent Security Act, it is important to have an attorney assist you in this matter.  Contact an experienced New York family law attorney to be advised of your legal rights and legal challenges associated with gestational surrogacy. Heather A. Fig is an experienced Suffolk County family lawyer who is experienced in Family Court and adoptions.  With a family law office located conveniently located in Bayport, Long Island, New York, Heather A. Fig is available to represent both Nassau County and Suffolk County residents with their family law needs. For more information or to schedule a consultation with our Long Island family lawyers, call (631) 491-6111.

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