Albany, NY Assemblymember Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale) announced passage of her legislation to allow gestational surrogacy in New York, a bright spot for New York families in these difficult times, Paulin said. This legislation, which was included in the New York State budget, will permit compensated gestational surrogacy agreements and provide certainty as to the legal parentage of children born through assisted reproduction.
I thank the many advocates from across New York State who have worked tirelessly to remove the obstacles impeding couples with infertility issues and same-sex couples from starting their families, said Assemblymember Paulin. Today, we bring New York law in line with the needs of modern families, while simultaneously enacting the strongest protections in the nation for surrogates.
Paulin began working on this issue in 2006 and introduced the first version of the legislation in 2012.
The legislation sets forth the criteria for enforceable surrogacy agreements. When all of the requirements set forth in the law are met, the intended parents can seek an Order of Parentage from a court, prior to the birth of the child, which becomes effective immediately upon birth. The requirements are designed to ensure that all parties enter into the agreement on an equal footing and with full knowledge of their duties and obligations. For example, all parties must be represented by independent legal counsel of his or her own choosing, and the right of the surrogate to make her own healthcare decisions shall not be limited.
Additionally, the legislation provides clear and decisive legal procedures to ensure that children born through assisted reproduction have secure and legally recognized parental relationships with their intended parents. New York appellate courts have repeatedly called upon the Legislature to act to provide much needed clarity to the essential question of who is a parent.
I had fertility issues when I attempted to get pregnant with my second child, so I am well aware of the pain and suffering that is attached to wanting a child, said Assemblymember Paulin. This law will allow families to avoid much of that pain by giving them the opportunity to have a family in New York and not travel around the country, incurring exorbitant costs simply because they want to be parents.
The legislation was sponsored in the Senate by Senator Brad Hoylman, who himself is a father to two children who were born through an out-of-state gestational surrogacy arrangement.