February 2021 saw a landmark event occur in NYS when commercial surrogacy became legal. Previously, NYS was one of only 3 states in which this form of family building had been illegal. The Child-Parent Security Act (CPSA) is the name of this new law in NYS that permits paid gestational surrogacy and ensures acknowledgment of parentage and orders of parentage.
The goal is to permit modern families in New York while enacting strong protections for gestational surrogates. The CPSA includes a Surrogate’s Bill of Rights to ensure the rights of Surrogates to make their own healthcare decisions, and mandates that Surrogates have free access to independent legal counsel, and comprehensive health, disability, and life insurance for the pregnancy and the year that follows. Such services must be paid for by the Intended Parents.
The CPSA also introduces new documentation to amend the birth certificate including an Acknowledgement of Parentage; a Gestational Surrogacy Agreement; and an Order of Parentage. Once amended, only the amended birth certificate is released when requested.
Gratefully, there are many agencies throughout the country that have provided recruitment and matching of Gestational Surrogates with Intended Parents, and these agencies are now able to provide their services to Intended Parents of NYS who want their embryo transfer to occur in NYS. Some professionals working in these gestational surrogate agencies have personally experienced third-party assisted reproduction and understand personally and professionally regulations and guidelines for a successful and safe gestational surrogacy relationship.
Once there is a match between a Gestational Surrogate and Intended Parents, there needs to be a medical clearance of the Surrogate and psychological clearance of the Surrogate, her partner, and the Intended Parents with individual and group psychoeducational counseling sessions. Prior to the match, the Intended Parents would have already created and frozen suitable embryos for transfer.
Of all the possible advanced fertility treatments, the need for a gestational surrogate is the least common. Gestational Surrogacy may be recommended for a couple or individual that have a significant uterine factor, such as dense scar tissue or a birth defect, or absence of the uterus; it may be recommended after there has been a very complicated delivery with ICU care that has a potential for recurrence; or it may be recommended for a cancer survivor, just to name a few possible indications. Additionally, gay men planning a family would need the assistance of a gestational surrogate and an egg donor. However, whenever the need for a gestational surrogate occurs, it is the most complex treatment given the psychological challenges for all involved. Dr. Moomjy is available to assist Intended Parents in the medical screening and hormonal preparation of their selected gestational surrogate. Dr. Moomjy will also work closely with gestational surrogate agencies and the NYU Fertility Center to make this dream a reality. It is best to have an experienced agency, lawyers, reproductive specialists, OB-GYNs, and psychologists to complete this precious journey.
PS: There is a father in Manhattan, a physician, who was so grateful to have his 2 sons delivered by a gestational surrogate that he successfully donated a kidney as an expression of his gratitude.