The New Jersey Senate has passed a measure spelling out the legal responsibilities of surrogate mothers and the intended parents.
Saying the agreements covering surrogacy are now poorly written and constitute a “wild West” in New Jersey, Sen. Joe Vitale said his bill would clarify the rules.
“This already happens. It’s very limited. It’s a wonderful thing for a couple who can’t have their own baby for whatever medical reason,” said Vitale, D-Middlesex.
Attorney Donald Cofsky said the measure would create certainty for all parties involved in the arrangement when a woman agrees to carry the fertilized egg of another woman, gives birth, then turns the child over to the intended parents.
Lawmakers heard from Gail Robinson, who moved to New Jersey from Texas to be a surrogate mother for her brother and his partner. After giving birth to twin girls, Robinson said she was not allowed to see the babies. And her surrogacy contract was declared void.
“It’s completely torn our family apart, and it is absolutely no way to bring children into this world,” she said.
Under the bill still awaiting Assembly action, a surrogate mother would have no parental rights or obligations.
The intended parents would have to pay the surrogate’s attorney fees and any medical expenses not covered by insurance.