If you’re considering becoming a surrogate in New York, it’s important you know the laws and rules behind gestational surrogacy that are specific to the state.
New York has specific guidelines regarding surrogacy, so it’s important that you make sure you understand these laws and follow them accordingly. Read on to learn about New York’s laws governing surrogacy, then continue reading to find out what you need to do in order to become a surrogate in the state!
Step 1: Understand The Law
The first step to becoming a surrogate in New York is to know and understand the laws surrounding surrogacy. A long time coming and after years of advocacy work, New York only recently legalized surrogacy as of 2020. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Child-Parent Security Act (CPSA) into law on April 3, 2020, and it went into effect on February 15, 2021.
In addition to legalizing surrogacy, the CPSA does the following:
- Makes it easier for parents who expand their families using assisted reproductive technology (ART) to establish legal parental rights
- Increases LGBTQIA+ protections for New York families
- Guarantees that intended parents who use a gestational surrogate maintain a secure legal relationship with their child following birth
Legal Protections For Surrogates, Intended Parents, and Children Born Through ART
There are also legal protections for both surrogates and intended parents under this new law, as well as for children born via ART. These legal protections include the following rights.
Surrogates Have The Right To
- Make all health and welfare decisions toward themselves and/or their pregnancy (such as selecting a health care provider of their choice, terminating a pregnancy, and consenting to a cesarean section).
- Secure their choice of independent legal counsel at the expense of the intended parent(s).
- Have comprehensive health coverage that covers preconception, prenatal, and postnatal care, as well as major medical treatments, hospitalizations, and mental health care throughout pregnancy and for 12 months after delivery at the expense of the intended parent(s).
- Receive psychological counseling at the expense of the intended parent(s).
- Secure a life insurance policy that extends 12 months after delivery (up to the maximum qualified amount or $750,000, whichever is lower) at the expense of the intended parent(s).
- Walk away from an agreement before pregnancy with no penalty.
Intended Parents Have The Right To
- Secure a legal relationship with their child(ren) following birth.
- Follow a basic, free pathway to legal parentage for a partner, either married or unmarried, of the gestating parent, where both agree they are parents.
- Ensure that the gestational surrogate is physically, mentally, and emotionally capable of carrying a pregnancy to term.
- Ensure that the egg or sperm donor is not a parent and intends solely to donate.’
Children Who Are Born Via Art Have The Right To
- Have clarity regarding who the child’s parents are following birth.
- Secure legally-binding financial and parental responsibility for their health and welfare.
- Have their parent or parents be legally and financially responsible for them, even in the event that one parent dies or both parents separate.
Step 2: Know The Requirements To Being A Surrogate
The CPSA made it so gestational surrogates are legally allowed to receive compensation from intended parents for carrying their children. However, there are specific requirements that must be met in order for a gestational surrogacy contract to be enforceable.
In order to be eligible to be a surrogate in New York, you must meet, at a minimum, the following criteria:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Be a United States citizen or legal permanent resident
- Are not using your own eggs to conceive the child
- Have completed a medical evaluation
- Have given informed consent regarding the medical risks of surrogacy
- Are represented by legal counsel licensed in New York at the expense of the intended parent(s)
- Have comprehensive health coverage and life insurance at the expense of the intended parent(s)
In addition to New York state law, the surrogacy agency you choose to work with will also have specific requirements that surrogates must fulfill. To see if you qualify as a surrogate for Family Inceptions, review our eligibility criteria here.
Step 3: Reach Out To A Surrogacy Agency
In the state of New York, surrogates must ensure that they are abiding by the law throughout the entire surrogacy process. There are many rules, regulations, and guidelines that surrogates must follow, especially for first-time surrogates.
Reaching out to and working with a surrogacy agency is a great way to make sure that you’re following the law and that your rights as a surrogate are being prioritized. Make sure the agency you choose is licensed in the state of New York to be able to provide surrogacy services. (Hint, hint: Family Inceptions is a licensed surrogacy agency in New York!
If you’re interested in becoming a surrogate in the state of New York, we can help you navigate that journey. Visit here to learn more about the process of becoming a surrogate with Family Inceptions.