Source: New Jersey Law Journal
The New Jersey Legislature is advancing a statute that would enable individuals to enter into enforceable agreements for surrogate parenthood via gestational carriers. The New Jersey Gestational Carrier Agreement Act (S-482, A-1704) awaits only final legislative approval and the signature of Gov. Phil Murphy to become law.
In gestational surrogacy, a woman agrees to be implanted with a fertilized egg that is not hers, and to carry the fetus to term. The fetus is conceived in vitro, using egg and sperm from donors who are unrelated to the woman. The act requires such agreements to be in writing; additionally, the carrier must be over age 21 and have already borne at least one child of her own; her spouse or partner must consent in writing, and the intended parents must provide financial and medical support to the woman throughout her pregnancy and delivery. All parties must also undergo psychological evaluation and be represented by independent counsel. The woman carrying the fetus must surrender custody of the baby to the intended parents immediately upon birth. The act specifies that during the pregnancy, the intended parents must initiate a proceeding for an order of parentage. After the birth, the state will issue a birth certificate listing only the intended parents as the legal parents. Records relating to the agreement will remain confidential, but the child may petition for access when he or she turns 18.
Source: Above The Law
Let’s count this as an important half-victory for securing the rights of intended parents to enter into valid surrogacy agreements.
Last week, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in favor of the intended parents in a surrogacy arrangement gone wildly wrong. The judgment finally secured the parental rights of an intended parent who was also the genetic father of the baby. The case also set a valuable precedent for enforcing surrogacy contracts in Iowa. Intended parents and gestational surrogates — as well as fertility doctors and assisted reproductive technology attorneys in the Hawkeye state — can all celebrate the new certainty and dependability of many of these arrangements. However, the decision left open the possibility that some parents may be left out in the bitter Iowa cold.