Today Governor Phil Murphy signed into law the Gestational Carrier Agreement Bill sponsored by Assemblywomen Valerie Huttle, Annette Quijano and Mila Jasey. The law will protect all parties involved in gestational carrier arrangements as well as promote the best interests of the children who will be born as a result. Gestational Carrier Contracts will be enforceable, and Intended Parents and Gestational Carriers will have the legal protections that were denied to them previously.
New Jersey insurance regulations define a gestational carrier as “a woman who has become pregnant with an embryo or embryos that are not part of her genetic or biologic entity, and who intends to give the child to the biological parents after birth.” Under the New Jersey insurance regulations, many medical insurance policies are required to pay for gestational carrier procedures. What had been missing in New Jersey is a law to protect the parties once these procedures produce a pregnancy and birth.
“This law corrects the problem of allowing gestational carrier arrangements to take place in New Jersey without legal protection for the parties, including the gestational carrier.” said Melissa Brisman, a New Jersey based reproductive attorney, who assisted with the drafting of the this law.
A pre-birth order in these circumstances clarifies and recognizes the rights of the various parties and the anticipated child. It provides a measure of security to the intended parents, gestational carrier, and child. Intended parents are given their rights as parents with all the resultant legal obligations of care and support for their child. A pre-birth determination of parentage provides direction for hospitals and medical staff as to who may be present for delivery and immediately thereafter, and is a great aid in seeking consent and input as to the medical care of the child. The order establishing legal parentage also allows for the parents to add their child to their medical insurance policy, apply for a Social Security Number for the child, make income tax return decisions, and obtain a passport for the child, etc.
“Finally New Jersey has followed the lead of many of our surrounding states. It was imperative that this law was passed to provide distinction in the legal relationship between the gestational carrier and the parents of the child she is carrying. This law promotes family building and should be viewed favorably by all ” argues Attorney Melissa Brisman.
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