“Gestational surrogacy” is a type of surrogacy where the surrogate does not provide the egg for fertilization but instead carries the fetus through pregnancy and gives birth to a baby for another individual or couple. The individual carrying the fetus is called the “surrogate.” As part of the 2020 State Budget process, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill (The Child-Parent Security Act) officially legalizing gestational surrogacy in New York. This law took effect on February 15, 2021.
This new law accomplishes the following:
Develops criteria for legally-enforceable gestational surrogacy agreements to protect parents and surrogates. Additional information about surrogacy agreements and related issues can be found at this link: The Child-Parent Security Act: Gestational Surrogacy Agreements, Acknowledgment of Parentage and Orders of Parentage (ny.gov)
Establishes the Surrogates' Bill of Rights – including the right of the surrogates to make health and welfare decisions regarding themselves and their pregnancy; the right of the surrogates to legal counsel of their choice (paid for by the parent); the right to a comprehensive health insurance policy (paid for by the parent); the right to a life insurance policy (paid for by the parent); and the right to terminate the surrogacy agreement. Here is a link to the Bill of Rights: Gestational Surrogates' Bill of Rights (ny.gov)
Licenses, through the State Department of Health, gestational surrogacy programs. Here is a link to the licensure process: Acquiring a Gestational Surrogacy Program License (ny.gov)
The New York State Department of Health has already issued regulations implementing this new law and they can be found in a link on this announcement page from Governor Cuomo’s office: Governor Cuomo Announces Gestational Surrogacy Now Legal in New York State (ny.gov)
Before this new law was passed in 2020, New York was one of only a few states where gestational surrogacy was illegal. Now that this new law is in effect, it can act as a model for other states that do not yet have legislation addressing gestational surrogacy agreements and a process for creating binding legal relationships between children born through assisted reproductive technology and their parents.
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