In 1992, the State of New York banned the practice of paid surrogacy. Paid surrogacy involves paying a woman to carry a child to term and to relinquish custody of that child to someone else once he or she is born. The paid surrogacy ban was signed into law by Gov. Mario Cuomo. New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms (NYCF) supports the continuation of New York’s ban on paid surrogacy, as it guards against the commercialization of reproduction and parenting.
In 2013, Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan) introduced an LGBT-supported bill that would repeal the paid surrogacy ban and redefine the term “parent” under the Laws of New York. Sen. Hoylman reintroduced the bill in 2015, 2017, and 2019. The bill is misleadingly named the Child-Parent Security Act (CPSA) (Bill S.2071-Hoylman/A.1071-Paulin). To date, that bill has not passed either house of the State Legislature.
In past years, Gov. Andrew Cuomo refrained from publicly stating whether he supported the repeal of his father’s paid surrogacy ban. On February 1, however, Gov. Cuomo revealed that he does support repeal; furthermore, the Governor has made the CPSA a priority by including it in his state budget proposal. In a statement to the Daily News, the Governor claimed that New York’s laws discriminate “against all couples struggling with fertility, same sex or otherwise,” and added that the CPSA “creates a new and long-overdue path” to family formation. The Governor failed to explain why he waited until the ninth year of his tenure to state his support for this supposedly “long-overdue” legislation.
Instead of reducing women’s reproductive capabilities to the status of a contracted service, promoting parenting by same-sex couples, and treating children as consumer goods, Gov. Cuomo should follow his father’s example and keep New York’s paid surrogacy ban in place.