Surrogacy has become very common in various parts of the United States, including New York. After passing the Child-Parent Security Act in 2020, surrogacy has become legal in New York. Many homes, including same-sex couples, now prioritize surrogacy to have babies through assisted reproduction.
Couples who cannot give birth to their babies or want to add to their homes will no longer find it difficult because they can turn to this new method. But what does surrogacy mean? Surrogacy is when a woman agrees to become pregnant and deliver a child to another partner.
You may wonder how surrogacy has become so popular that many clinics and health practitioners suggest this option for couples who can’t reproduce. The inability of some couples to have their babies may be due to some health challenges, including infertility or other conditions. While the legal process is somewhat tricky, many people still go for surrogacy, but an independent legal counsel must represent the couples and the surrogate mother.
Understanding surrogacy will help you as a couple or single parent on your surrogacy journey. Also, it will help you understand the legal process involved in New York surrogacy laws.
What Is Surrogacy?
The term surrogacy involves a person consenting to bear and deliver a baby on behalf of another person. The surrogate mother gives the commissioning parent ownership and custody of the baby after birth. Surrogacy involves numerous medical and legal procedures that ought to be followed strictly. Understanding the processes, seeking legal counsel, and forming supportive networks are also crucial.
Also, surrogacy is assisted reproductive technology in which a woman carries and delivers a child using another person’s genetic material. There is no genetic connection between the child and the surrogate mother unless she is also the egg donor. So surrogacy is a popular choice for intended parents who can not conceive a child of their own or have been unable to conceive through natural means.
Before taking such a life-changing journey, you should consider many other individuals, including the surrogate’s spouse and children, intended parents’ children, as well as the sperm and ova donors.
Who Is a Surrogate?
A surrogate is a woman who successfully carries and delivers a child for the intended parents based on a legal surrogacy agreement.
Before you are a surrogate, you must be the child’s biological mother. They must also be at least 23 years old and have had no more than two full-term pregnancies. They must be able to carry the child to term without complications and have a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
If the surrogate is unable to carry the child to term, they can undergo medical care during the pregnancy to ensure that both she and the child are healthy. It is also important to note that the surrogate must be healthy and not have any chronic or terminal illness.
Is Surrogacy Legal in New York?
Before now, many couples, including same-sex couples, usually went to different states other than New York for surrogacy. It used to be inconvenient for most intended parents as they found it difficult to locate a surrogate mother or an egg donor they could trust. Today, they can collaborate with a gestational carrier within their state for a simpler, more comfortable journey.
The good news is that an intended parent can legally go for surrogacy in New York. This is possible because the Child-Parent Security Act of 2020 made surrogacy legal. However, the intended parent(s) and the surrogate must undergo a medical evaluation to ascertain their health conditions under the supervision of trained healthcare personnel.
Also, the intended parents and the surrogate mother must involve legal counsel. This does not exclude unmarried intended parents. The New York surrogacy law may change without your notice if you reside in New York. Hence, surrogacy contracts should be binding for the parties involved, and a professional must prepare the contract.
Remember that it’s advisable to consult an expert New York surrogacy attorney to understand the procedure fully. Only an attorney can give you the relevant information needed to help you decide which option is right for you.
Surrogacy is of two major types; traditional and gestational surrogacy. Also, surrogate mothers are of two types: traditional and gestational surrogates.
Understanding the various forms of surrogacy is crucial to know what you are going for. Gestational surrogacy contracts differ from traditional surrogacy contracts as both entail slightly different terms.
This form of surrogacy is very common. This surrogacy process involves the transfer of the embryo into the surrogate’s uterus. The sperm and egg of donors or the commissioning parents are used to form the embryo via In Vitro Fertilization. The surrogate provides only her womb and not the genetic material.
The surrogate will carry the child till birth, and there is no genetic relationship with the child so long as their egg is not used. This type of surrogacy is common among individuals who struggle with infertility, same-sex couples, those who cannot safely carry a baby to term, men or women who intend to be single parents, and those who prefer not to have a genetic link between their child and the surrogate.
As mentioned previously, in New York, gestational surrogate compensation is legal. The surrogate will be taken care of from the onset of the surrogate agreement till two months after childbirth. Once the child is delivered, the intended parents will be issued a birth certificate.
The child-parent security act made it mandatory that the health department must issue an accurate birth certificate listing the prospective parent(s) as the baby’s rightful parent(s). Again, both parties should consult a New York surrogacy attorney to help them understand the process.
In this type of surrogacy, the sperm of the intended parents is used to fertilize the surrogate’s egg. This is accomplished through IVF or intrauterine insemination. In this situation, the infant is biologically related to the mother.
This type of surrogacy is ideal and common among same-sex couples, single men, or intended mothers who cannot produce viable eggs. The state of New York has made traditional surrogacy legal. It may be more affordable for commissioning parents because it does not include the collection of ova from intended mothers or egg donors.
While surrogacy is of two major types, there are also two forms of agreement: commercial surrogacy and altruistic surrogacy. While some countries have strict surrogacy laws, others ban it entirely, but neither is true for New York. The New York surrogacy laws permit surrogacy so far as both parties meet the legal requirements.
Commercial Surrogacy Agreement
In commercial surrogacy, the surrogate gets compensation through material things or cash. The intended parents will take care of the entire pregnancy cost during the whole time.
Altruistic Surrogacy Agreement
Unlike commercial surrogacy, where a surrogate mother gets compensation, altruistic surrogacy is quite the opposite. The surrogate does not receive any payment of any such. The intended parent(s) only spends on medical expenses.
This model of surrogacy is prevalent among family members. Altruistic surrogates usually assist individuals they know, for example, a family member or close friend, and will most likely get compensation for medical expenses.
The decision between altruistic and commercial surrogacy is contentious, and finding the one ideal for intended parents will probably rely on how they view surrogate compensation. However, this might be of greater concern in foreign surrogacies than in domestic ones. Those who oppose commercial surrogacy claim that the procedure milks the human reproductive system and exploits weak women who need financial support.
However, many individuals are wary of using a surrogate to have a baby without paying her because they don’t want the surrogate to feel exploited or unappreciated. Although altruistic surrogacy could help intended parents save money, it might also create difficulties for the connection between the surrogate and the intended parents in the process.
The Cost of Surrogacy
The cost of surrogacy can vary greatly depending on the country and the clinic. Surrogacy in New York may cost up to $125,000, but this is not a fixed amount.
Parentage orders and surrogacy agreements are both subject to legal advice. It is appropriate for a commissioning parent or parents to meet any surrogacy agreement’s medical and legal expenses.
Also, it is crucial to seek advice concerning medical costs. Private and medical health insurance may not cover the cost of surrogacy.
The surrogacy expenses occur in three topics: the surrogate, the egg donor, and the medical expenses.
The surrogate has the higher expenses because they are the ones who must go through the medical procedures. The surrogate also makes all the health and welfare decisions.
The expenses for the egg donor are the second most expensive part, while the medical costs are the lowest.
Locating an Independent Legal Counsel for Surrogacy in New York
No matter their situation or location, every surrogate and prospective parent needs independent legal counsel or a surrogacy attorney. The role of the surrogacy attorney is to uphold their client’s interests and rights all through the legal procedure.
Before achieving a pregnancy, all parties involved should know the legal and medical processes, their obligations at each stage, and the possible difficulties they may encounter. Things will go more efficiently when all parties have the right information and explanation.
The attorney’s responsibility also includes ensuring that each party complies with all legal procedures so prospective parents can legally establish their relationship as the child’s parents.
In contrast, persons seeking a surrogacy agreement in New York can only work with matching services with a license from the state of New York. If you feel confident finding a sperm donor or the surrogate by yourself and handling the numerous intricacies needed in a surrogate pregnancy, partnering with an attorney will not be necessary.
The attorneys and clinics can offer you the following help since they have knowledge of New York law and surrogacy:
- Assist you in comprehending the relevant state law.
- Surrogacy and egg donation guidelines.
- Sensitize you on the criminal and civil penalties for anyone who breaks surrogacy laws.
- Create a strong surrogacy contract and start the legal processes necessary to prove your parental authority.
- Provide legal counsel for you at every stage.
Thus, finding a New York surrogacy lawyer is crucial for every intended parent.
What Is the New York Surrogacy Law?
As of 15th February 2022, New York’s surrogacy law permits gestational surrogacy. The newly enacted Child-Parent Security Act repealed the previous New York law that declared paid surrogacy contracts illegal and unenforceable and permitted paid gestational surrogacy.
Additionally, according to New York surrogacy law, a traditional surrogate should be the child’s legal mother. She will also need to give her consent before the commissioning parents adopt the child because they are not the child’s genetic parent.
It is also important to note that the information in this article is not in any way a legal counsel. Still, it can help you understand the basic laws and regulations governing surrogacy in various states, especially New York. Speaking with an expert attorney is crucial to help you navigate your journey.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. In New York, is compensated surrogacy legal?
The CPS Act allows compensation for any gestational carrier for their services. Any payment must be “fair and agreed in good conscience between the intended parties.” The gestational carrier is paid throughout pregnancy and possibly all through to two months after the baby is born.
2. Who can be a surrogate in the state of New York?
New York’s surrogacy laws cover only legal citizens and residents of New York. This means international commissioning parents can not use surrogacy in New York. New York was the first to establish permits for gestational surrogacy programs, among other states.
3. What happens when the intended parent(s) work with an egg, embryo, or sperm donor?
When intended parents use gametes that were given anonymously, the legal procedures to terminate the donor’s right are usually already in place. But, if they are to use a donor they know, they will need the help of a surrogacy attorney in New York to complete the essential legal formalities.
To establish expectations and duties from both parties, the commissioning parent(s) should always possess a documented embryo transfer agreement regardless of who’s involved. Donors need not worry because they are not granted rights to the child born through assisted reproduction because they are regarded as such by New York’s surrogacy laws.
4. Can same-sex couples adopt a child as a stepparent just because the baby was given birth in the state of New York?
This is obtainable if they register the second parent adoption in the child’s birth county. This must be done within 90 days after the child’s birth.
5. Can I apply to be a surrogate?
It is incredibly kind of you to volunteer to bear a child for another person to raise. Knowing your responsibilities and the procedure is crucial before making any decisions. You must consider your children and partner, if any, and discuss it with them.
Surrogacy is legal in New York if you are planning to use the option to have your own child. The child-parent act makes it possible and legal. Many couples now have their own babies today through surrogacy. You can decide to use any surrogacy type, provided you meet the requirements.
While the law permits surrogacy, you should still consult a skilled lawyer and go for a reputed agency so that all your documents and agreements are in order. You must ensure that both parties understand and sign to ensure that the process is smooth and without undue stress for all the parties involved.