As we ring in the New Year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is busy laying out his 2020 agenda. Unfortunately, legalizing the destructive and unnecessary practice of paid surrogacy is part of it.
On December 30, Gov. Cuomo announced the 16th proposal contained in his 2020 State of the State agenda. The Governor proposes to lift New York’s ban on gestational surrogacy to “help support LGBTQ couples and people struggling with fertility start families.” According to the Governor, “‘New York’s surrogacy ban is based in fear not love, and it’s past time we updated our antiquated laws to help LGBTQ couples and people struggling with fertility use commonplace reproductive technology to start families.’” Therefore, the Governor intends to “‘make it a priority again this year to repeal the ban and provide the nation’s strongest protections for surrogates and parents choosing to take part in the surrogacy process.’”
The Governor asserts that his legislation will create a “surrogates’ bill of rights,” create “legal protections for parents of children conceived by reproductive technologies such as artificial insemination and egg donation,” and remove “burdensome and often expensive barriers for ‘second parent adoption,’ instead requiring a single visit to court to recognize legal parenthood while the child is in utero.”
Interestingly, reports on the Legislature’s 2020 priorities do not indicate that this proposal is as high on lawmakers’ wish lists as it is on the Governor’s. Last year, the State Senate passed a paid surrogacy bill, but the bill failed to pass the New York State Assembly. The bill’s chances were hindered because one contingent of left-wing legislators supports paid surrogacy as a form of LGBT empowerment, while another regards paid surrogacy with great skepticism as a form of exploitation of women.
Is it possible that the New York State Assembly could give this bill the cold shoulder again in 2020? Time will tell, but we certainly want to encourage them in that direction. Write your state legislators today about this important issue.