Though paid surrogacy is legal in many parts of the United States, the practice remains illegal in New York. However, that may soon change. A state advisory panel recommended this month that New York reverse its ban on women serving as paid childbirth surrogates, the Daily News reports. New York has banned the practice since 1992, and is only one of 6 states that currently ban the practice.
The panel's recommendation specifically mentioned gestational surrogacy as a key way LGBTQ couples are able to start their families. The report says: "Equity must be a driving principle if all families are to enjoy the opportunity to welcome children into their family. Gestational surrogacy affords lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) families an important opportunity to have children."
"I think it is a major step forward for our efforts to legalize commercial surrogacy agreements," said State Senator Brad, who used paid surrogates, out of state, in order to start his family with his husband David Sigal. Senator Hoylman has sponsored legislation along with Assemblywoman Amy Paulin to legalize the practice without the current requirement that the surrogate maintain a genetic relationship to the child they carry. The measure has been introduced every session since 2012 but has never advanced.
Holyman and Paulin hope the panel's recommendation will help give momentum to their bill, though Governor Cuomo has yet to weigh in on the matter. Gays With Kids will be sure to keep our readers up to date as this story evolves.