What are the laws for surrogacy in New York?

Understanding Surrogacy Laws in New York

Surrogacy, a practice where a woman (the surrogate) agrees to carry a pregnancy for another person or couple who will become the child's parent(s) after birth, has been a subject of legal and ethical debate for decades. The laws governing surrogacy vary widely from state to state, and understanding these can be critical for anyone considering surrogacy as an option for family building. In this article, we will delve into the specific laws surrounding surrogacy in the state of New York.

The Child-Parent Security Act

Historically, New York was known for having some of the most restrictive surrogacy laws in the United States. However, that changed with the passage of the Child-Parent Security Act (CPSA), which took effect on February 15, 2021. The CPSA overturned the previous ban on compensated surrogacy and established a legal framework to protect all parties involved in a surrogacy arrangement.

The act allows gestational surrogacies where the surrogate is not genetically related to the child she is carrying. It requires intended parents and surrogates to enter into a comprehensive legal contract before commencing any medical procedures related to surrogacy. These contracts must detail issues such as compensation for the surrogate, rights and responsibilities of all parties, and provisions for the event of pregnancy complications or multiple births.

Legal Requirements for Surrogacy Agreements

Under the CPSA, there are specific requirements that must be met for a surrogacy agreement to be considered legally binding:

Additionally, New York law ensures that surrogates have the right to make all health and welfare decisions regarding themselves and their pregnancy. Surrogates also have the right to discontinue a pregnancy if they choose.

Establishing Parentage

The CPSA provides a streamlined process for establishing parentage. Intended parents can obtain a 'pre-birth order,' which secures their legal rights as parents before the child's birth, regardless of their genetic connection to the child. This process eliminates the need for adoption proceedings after birth, which were previously necessary for intended parents to secure their parental rights.

Protections for Surrogates

To ensure that surrogates are fully aware of their rights and are entering into agreements voluntarily, the CPSA mandates that they receive counseling by independent licensed mental health professionals. They are entitled to comprehensive health insurance coverage provided by the intended parents, which must include maternity care and cover all health costs related to pregnancy and postpartum recovery.

Conclusion

The Child-Parent Security Act has brought about significant changes to how surrogacy is practiced in New York. By setting clear legal parameters and protections for all parties involved, it has opened up new possibilities for individuals and couples looking to start or grow their families through surrogacy. If you are considering surrogacy in New York, it is crucial to consult with knowledgeable attorneys who specialize in reproductive law, ensuring all actions comply with state regulations.