New Jersey’s Surrogacy Law Meets the 21st Century
New Jersey's New Surrogacy Bill
It’s a move that reproductive lawyers, intended parents, and everyone in between have been waiting on for decades. New Jersey, a state that hotly contested and outright banned compensated surrogacy for 30 years, will now allow legal protection for all parties involved in the collaborative reproductive arrangement.
In short, as one news article put it, “New Jersey law caught up with science.”
This particular law addresses gestational surrogacy in New Jersey, in which the intended mother’s or a donor’s egg is used to create the embryo. This type of surrogacy is now practiced almost exclusively over genetic, or traditional surrogacy, in which the surrogate is the biological mother of the child.
The Baby M Case
It was traditional surrogacy that sparked the total shutdown of legally binding contracts back in 1988. The Baby M Case, as it was known, drew national attention when a surrogate – who was the genetic mother and was artificially inseminated by the intended father – tried to back out of a legal contract and keep the baby.
The New Jersey Supreme Court ultimately granted custody to the intended parents and deemed surrogacy contracts unenforceable. The ruling was used again as recently as 2009 to invalidate a gestational carrier agreement.
All that finally changed recently when The New Jersey Gestational Carrier Act (S482) was signed by Governor Phil Murphy. It clarifies the law as it applies specifically to gestational carriers – not traditional surrogates – and includes the following stipulations:
- She must be at least 21 years old
- She must have given birth to at least one child
- She must complete medical and psychological evaluations
- She must retain an independent attorney (intended parents may cover this cost)
- The intended parents must complete a psychological exam
With those requirements met, the gestational carrier can choose her own medical care with expenses covered by the intended parents – who will ultimately be named the sole legal parents of the baby on the birth certificate.
We are thrilled to see New Jersey join the growing number of states putting modern regulations in place to promote and protect modern families.
Learn more about ConceiveAbilities' gestational surrogacy program in Jersey City, Edison, Lakewood, Elizabeth, Cherry Hill and other communities in the New Jersey area.