Just two years ago a similar bill was shot down -– vetoed by Governor Chris Christie. But lawmakers are again hoping to legally define surrogacy in New Jersey with a new bill.
In surrogacy, a woman agrees to carry the fertilized egg, with no DNA ties to herself, for the nine gestational months. She then agrees to terminate her parental rights, giving them instead to the parents whose child she agreed to carry. The problem is that the current surrogacy laws are ambiguous.
In 1988 the Supreme Court ruled against surrogacy, voicing surrogacy-for-hire contracts. And yet it still happens.
Proponents of the bill say that passage would clarify specifics. It would protect the surrogate mother, the legal parents, and most of all, the child. Under this law, the surrogate would be able to choose her own medical care, her own attorney, and would be financially cared for during the pregnancy and postpartum.
The law would require the intended parents to also be represented by an attorney and to pay all legal, medical, and living fees for the surrogate mother during her pregnancy. The surrogate would have to be at least 21 years old and would have already had to have had a child or children of her own. Reasoning for this is that the mother would clearly know the emotional and physical strain pregnancy can be before entering into the agreement.
Currently, 12 states in the United States have surrogacy laws of some form.