In 2020, following years of opposition from New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms and others, the State of New York legalized paid surrogacy. The law (Chapter 56 of the Laws of 2020) was passed during the state budget process, and it went into effect on February 15, 2021. It is now legal in New York for persons to pay a woman to act as a gestational carrier, implant a test-tube-created embryo within that woman’s womb, and take custody of the baby after the woman gives birth.
New York’s paid surrogacy law allows for judgments of parentage of children born through the use of assisted reproduction technology or through surrogacy agreements. It also directs the Department of Health to regulate surrogacy programs and businesses that provide assisted reproduction services. Furthermore, the law provides for the creation of a surrogacy registry and an ova registry. Regulations to implement the paid surrogacy law went into effect on February 16.
Jason McGuire, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, reacted: “The state’s surrogacy law is nothing more than the renting of wombs and the commercialization of children. The baby-buying industry has opened a politically-correct Pandora’s Box that will harm children and the mothers who carry them.”
Our state government continues to elevate the preferences and conveniences of adults over the needs of children. Here in New York, our laws now approve of the deliberate creation of situations in which a baby is removed from the care of his or her birth mother. In legalizing paid surrogacy, it has given its blessing to a brave new world in which childbearing can be treated as a contracted service. The paid surrogacy law also reiterates the lie that our state told when it legalized same-sex “marriage” in 2011: The lie that mothers and fathers are interchangeable in family formation and childrearing.