Gestational Carriers in NJ by William S. Singer, J.D.

Legislators in New Jersey are now working to update the state’s laws to legalize and regularize the use of gestational carriers. New Jersey’s laws have not kept current with the advances in the use of assisted reproductive technology (ART). New Jersey law is still encumbered by the landmark decision in Baby M 25 years ago. So much has changed in the interim.

The Baby M ruling concerned the use of a traditional surrogate who is the child’s genetic mother. Now, advances in medical science have made gestational surrogacy the preferred method for creating a family. In a gestational surrogacy, the intended parents use a donated egg or the egg of an intended parent who is unable to gestate her own child. That fertilized egg is implanted in the gestational carrier who then has no genetic link to the child she is carrying.The proposed legislation allows for written agreements to protect all of the parties. It sets forth the rights and obligations of the parties and allows them to obtain judicial approval of the contract before the baby is born.

Among the notable goals of the legislation is to give predictability to all parties in a gestational surrogacy so that New Jersey citizens will not need to leave the state in order to feel protected when using a gestational surrogate.

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