You may have heard that compensated gestational surrogacy is becoming legal in New York. So what does this mean exactly?
Intended parents (IPs) residing in New York can legally complete the entire surrogacy journey within the state, secure in the knowledge that the new Child-Parent Security Act (CPSA) offers protection both for themselves and gestational carriers.
As a New Yorker for many years, and the father of a child born through surrogacy, I couldn’t be happier that it is now appropriately recognized as a legal and supported family-building method. Surrogacy is a lengthy and somewhat complicated process, but having a strong legal framework in your own state can help you facilitate your journey. Thanks to the new law, if you’re a New Yorker, you don’t need to travel to find a fertility clinic and gestational carrier in different states, or possibly miss out on important moments, such as the embryo transfer or the birth. It also streamlines the legal process for establishing parental rights.
With all that said, we wanted to summarize the key facts about the CPSA for you.
According to Richard Vaughn, Founding Partner of International Fertility Law Group, “The CPSA is comprehensive new parentage legislation for New York, designed to meet 30 years of advances in medical science and family building through assisted reproduction. The CPSA addresses the parentage of all children born through third-party reproduction. It specifically overturns New York’s long-standing ban on compensated gestational surrogacy, except where the surrogate provides the egg used in conception and also addresses egg donation, embryo disposition agreements, posthumous conception agreements and voluntary acknowledgment of parentage in donor insemination matters.”
The new law:
– Takes effect on Monday, February 15, 2021
– Legalizes gestational surrogacy, keeping in mind that traditional surrogacy or genetic surrogacy (where the surrogate’s egg is used to create the embryo) is still illegal
– Provides a simple path through which to establish legal parental rights – intended parents who build their family through third party reproduction have a secure legal relationship with their child from the moment of birth
– Assures that an egg or sperm donor is not a parent when proof of intent of donation is available
– Allows for both the IPs and the gestational carrier the right to terminate the agreement at any time before pregnancy is achieved
The Act also sets out the eligibility criteria for intended parents:
– At least one IP must be a US citizen or a lawful permanent resident
– At least one IP must have resided in NY for at least six months
– IPs can be single, married or intimate partners
– IPs must be represented by an independent legal counsel in the contract negotiation phase and throughout its duration
– Married IPs must jointly enter in the surrogacy agreement (unless they’re living separately)
The Act creates a “Surrogate Bill of Rights” giving gestational carriers:
– The sole right to decide on matters of health and welfare, regarding herself and the pregnancy (including the right to terminate, reduce or continue with the pregnancy)
– The right to choose her own healthcare practitioner
– The right to their own choice of independent legal counsel, paid for by the intended parents.
– The right to a comprehensive health insurance policy covering the entire journey up to 12 months after the pregnancy, paid for by the IPs
– The right to a life insurance policy that takes effect prior to taking any medication or the start of medical procedures, and extending for 12 months following the end of the pregnancy, paid for by the IPs
– The right to psychological counseling for issues arising from participating in the surrogacy arrangement, paid for by the IPs
As for eligibility, a gestational carrier must be:
– At least 21 years of age
– A US citizen or lawful permanent resident
– A New York State resident for at least 6 months “where at least one IP is not a resident”
– And she must have completed a medical evaluation and given fully informed consent
This new law is important for couples or singles in New York considering growing their families through surrogacy. For those in the area about to embark on this rewarding journey, we wish you the best and hope to help you take the first steps along the way!
Society for Assisted Reproduction: https://www.sart.org/news-and-publications/news-and-research/legally-speaking/a-medical-practitioners-guide-to-the-child-parent-security-act/
Family Equality: https://www.familyequality.org/resources/child-parent-security-act-new-york/
New York State Senate: https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2019/s2071
https://www.iflg.net/new-york/ – https://www.iflg.net/new-york-ends-surrogacy-ban/ – https://www.iflg.net/new-york-surrogacy-law/