It comes as a surprise to many that New York is one of only three states – including Louisiana and Michigan – with a current ban on any form of compensated gestational surrogacy. This year, ConceiveAbilities is joining efforts to help change this through a new bill that has been introduced in New York, called the “Child Protection Security Act” (“CPSA”). The goal is to create protection for both surrogates and intended parents in the state of New York.
The effort to pass the CPSA was recently announced by Governor Cuomo in his 2020 State Address. For those who have dealt with fertility issues first-hand or have built their families through third-party reproduction, we so appreciate Governor Cuomo recognizing the family building struggles of both the LGBTQ community and any person who has been diagnosed with infertility.
In the past three decades, assisted reproductive technology as well as family building options continue to progress and evolve to help those who are unable to carry their own child due to medical reasons, are members of the LGBTQ community, and/or single parents pursuing the option of working with a surrogate. Considering how progressive New York typically is, we believe it is time to update these antiquated laws to protect modern families.
States like California, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, and several others already have enacted laws that protect surrogates and intended parents; it is time for New York to offer similar protections. The CPSA’s mission is to create “best practice” laws legalizing and regulating compensated gestational surrogacy for intended parents, whether they are a married, single, heterosexual, a member of the LGBTQ community and whether they are using embryos created with their own genetics or that of an egg and/or sperm donor.
For the record, under current New York law:
• Non-biological parents are often subjected to a costly and time-consuming second-parent adoption process to legally secure their parental rights for their child when traveling out of state.
• New York’s current law tremendously limits the option for many to have a biological child as well as excludes the option for anyone who wants to serve as a gestational carrier.
The CPSA aims to accomplish the following:
• Ensures that intended parents who work with a surrogate will have a solid and legal relationship with their child from the moment of birth.
• Legalizes surrogacy (where the surrogate is not genetically connected to the child) and follows “best practices” in the field that protects the interests of the surrogate, intended parents, and child.
• Streamlines and creates better infrastructure for non-biological parents, including gay couples.
• Ends legal ambiguity for single intended parents who need the assistance of an egg and/or sperm donor and/or gestational surrogate.
• Ensures that the gestational carrier and her spouse or partner (if applicable) are protected, represented and receive legal expertise and guidance by independent legal counsel of their own choosing, which would be paid for by the intended parents.
• Requires that the surrogate be at least 21 years old.
• Makes certain the surrogate has a health insurance policy that covers the entire pregnancy as well as eight weeks after the birth of the child.
• Confirms that the surrogate can use the services of a health care practitioner of her choosing and receives a thorough medical evaluation prior to entering the agreement, paid for by the intended parents.
• Ensures that the agreement does not limit the right of the surrogate to terminate the pregnancy.
• Safeguards that for compensated surrogacy, intended parents place funds in escrow with an independent escrow agent upfront, prior to the surrogate commencing any medical procedure.
• Certifies that upon request, the intended parents have or agree to procure and pay for a life insurance policy for the gestational carrier that enables the surrogate to designate a beneficiary of her choice.
• Makes certain that, upon request, the intended parents will pay for counseling to address issues resulting from the surrogate’s participation in the agreement.
If you are in New York and would like to get involved in support of CPSA, you can register to attend Lobby Day in Albany on February 11th by clicking HERE.
If you are a gestational carrier, regardless of where you live, you can also add your signature to this private Surrogate Letter of Support for the NY Surrogacy Legislation by clicking HERE. It takes less than one minute to fill out. And as always, if you have questions about becoming a surrogate or an intended parent, you can connect with our expert staff for more information.
All Things Conceivable is a blog dedicated to sharing the knowledge and expert opinions of the dedicated team at ConceiveAbilities, a Chicago-based egg donation and surrogacy agency.