Surrogacy Ban in New York May be Lifted in 2019

We’ve got some exciting news!

The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, is proposing a new law that, if passed, will lift the ban on surrogacy contracts. Lifting this ban will allow New York residents to enter into surrogacy contracts in the Empire State. The Task Force on Life and the Law created this law to void all contracts and agreements between a surrogate and genetic parents.

In New Jersey in 1986, there was a very popular custody case involving a surrogate mother who decided to keep the child she had given birth to, now known as “Baby M”. This case created controversy over the rights of a surrogate and their parental rights to the child they give birth to. The New York Times and other publications have written about this case and what it means for the future of surrogacy in New York. In this case, the surrogate was a genetic surrogate; meaning that she was the biological mother of her child. Genetic surrogacy is much less common in the US and the law was created to invalidate agreements like the one used in this case. It is far more common to practice gestational surrogacy, where the surrogate has no genetic relationship to the baby.

In the early 90’s after the infamous Baby M case, a law was put into place to ban surrogacy agreements in the state of New York. In 2019, New York is one of only four states that have legally banned surrogacy contracts. This ban does not mean that having a child through surrogacy is impossible, it simply makes the process more expensive, difficult, and complex for intended parents. Because of this, many advocates within the Gay Rights community have been pushing for a lift to this ban. To learn more about covering the cost for surrogacy, check out our blog post: Covering the Cost of Surrogacy.

Many high profile medical professionals have expressed their support in lifting the ban. Jamie Grifo, head of the NYU Fertility Center, states that “New York has an unfortunate ban that creates more harm than benefits. It’s just punitive.” With the current law, Grifo is able to create embryos intended for surrogacy, but he must ship them to another state where it is legal to have them implanted in a surrogate. This shipping and travel process increases the cost and convenience of using a surrogate for New York Residents. We have a page for New York surrogacy specifically for those looking to learn more. 

Governor Cuomo seems to agree with the advocacy groups and medical professionals campaigning to lift the ban. “New York’s antiquated laws frankly are discriminatory against all couples struggling with fertility, same sex or otherwise” he said in a statement to The Post. Many are hopeful that this legislation will pass in 2019 and couples struggling with infertility and same-sex couples will be able to grow their families through surrogacy.

To learn more about having a child through surrogacy or becoming a surrogate yourself, check out our website for more information.