Understanding New York's laws on artificial reproductive technology.

Overview of Artificial Reproductive Technology Laws in New York

Artificial reproductive technology (ART) has become a beacon of hope for many individuals and couples wishing to conceive a child. New York State, known for its progressive approach to healthcare and patient rights, has a complex legal framework governing ART. This article aims to demystify the laws in New York surrounding various ART methods including in vitro fertilization (IVF), surrogacy, and sperm and egg donation.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Embryo Storage

In New York, IVF is regulated by both state law and guidelines from professional bodies such as the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). The state mandates that health insurance providers must cover diagnosis and treatment for infertility, but this does not always extend to IVF treatments. Furthermore, the disposition of embryos is a subject of legal scrutiny, especially considering cases like Kass v. Kass, where the court ruled that prior written agreements about embryo disposition are binding.

Surrogacy Agreements

The Child-Parent Security Act (CPSA), which took effect on February 15, 2021, dramatically changed the legal landscape of surrogacy in New York. The CPSA legalized gestational surrogacy, where the surrogate is not genetically related to the child, and established a Surrogates' Bill of Rights, ensuring surrogates have access to comprehensive health insurance and independent legal counsel paid for by the intended parents. Traditional surrogacy, however, remains complex legally due to genetic ties between the surrogate and the child.

Sperm and Egg Donation

New York law treats sperm and egg donation differently. Anonymous sperm donation is commonplace and regulated by the FDA alongside state health departments, with donors often relinquishing parental rights upon donation. Egg donation is more legally intricate due to the invasive nature of the procedure and potential parental rights issues. Contracts are typically used to define parental rights and obligations clearly.

Parentage Rights

The establishment of parentage is critical in ART arrangements. Under the CPSA, intended parents can establish legal parentage without adoption proceedings if certain criteria are met and proper legal agreements are in place before birth.


New York's laws on artificial reproductive technology are designed to address the rapidly evolving field of reproductive medicine while protecting all parties involved. As ART continues to advance, it is likely that further legislation will be needed to keep pace with new ethical and legal challenges that arise.