New York Overturns Ban on Paid Surrogacy

It’s hard to say anything nice about 2020.

But, amidst all the crazy chaos this year has brought, there has been at least one good thing: New York passed legislation that will allow residents to enter into paid surrogacy contracts.

Here’s a more in-depth look into what this legislation includes and what it means for New York residents.

What is Commercial Surrogacy

Let’s start at the beginning. What is commercial surrogacy, and why is it important?

Commercial gestational surrogacy is when a couple pays a woman to carry a child that is not biologically hers. And with the recent change in New York, it is now legal in every state except Louisiana and Michigan. 

Surrogacy arrangements allow gay couples and those who have infertility to have a child that is biologically connected to them. Because of advances in technology, we can now take the father’s sperm, and the mother’s egg then makes an embryo in a lab. The embryo is then transferred to a surrogate mother who will carry the baby throughout the pregnancy.

Starting in February 2021, these arrangements will be available to New York residents.

What the Legislation Includes

This new law gives the surrogates the strongest protections in the nation. Here are some examples:

  • A surrogate must be 21 years old.

  • The intended parents must pay for legal counsel to the surrogate

  • The intended parents must pay for health insurance during the pregnancy.

  • The intended parents must provide life insurance for the surrogate. 

  • The intended parents must continue to pay for insurance for a full year after the child’s birth.


While this legislation is a step in the right direction, these added mandates may make surrogacy too expensive for most intended parents to afford. 

Currently, surrogacy can cost anywhere from $80,000 to $200,000. This added cost of insurance for almost two years would make that price tag even higher. 

Who This Law Helps

While many Americans may not be aware of this legislation, there are many who it will help. It gives hope to those living in New York who aren’t able to have a family independently. This includes gay couples, single women, single men, infertile couples, and anyone else who wants to use a gestational carrier.

Why the Ban?

Usually, New York is a progressive state when it comes to new legislation, so why did this take so long?

New York’s hesitation towards surrogacy started in 1985 with the Baby M case. Mary Beth Whitehead agreed to be a surrogate for the Sterns. The Sterns were a couple where the wife suffered from MS. The agreement was Whitehead would be paid $10,000 to be inseminated with Stern’s sperm and then carry the baby for the duration of the pregnancy. 

Since Whitehead’s egg was used, she was the biological mother of the child. When it came time to give birth and finalize the arrangement, she changed her mind and wanted to keep the baby. 

A lengthy legal battle ensued, and the Sterns ended up with custody of the child. But not before the legal system declared that paying a woman to have a baby was illegal and “potentially degrading.”

Since then, almost all surrogacies in America have been gestational, meaning the mother has no biological connection to the baby. This helps all parties involved to avoid any sort of legal mess regarding the child.  

Never a Better Time

There has never been a better time to build a family through egg donation and surrogacy. The laws and regulations that are in place are here to protect all parties involved. And we are proud that New York is now safe and legal for surrogacy. 

Before, residents of New York would have to travel away from their homes and businesses to build their families. Now they can stay in their own state to use alternative ways to grow their family. 

If you are looking for more information on surrogacy and how it can fit into your family plan, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you build the family you’ve always wanted.


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