Although surrogacy is far more common in the United States than in most countries, it remains a polarizing issue. With no federal laws in place, policies regarding surrogacy are left to the states.
A quick glance at state laws across the country reveal little consensus with regard to surrogacy. While seventeen states have laws permitting surrogacy, in 21 states there is neither a law nor published case. Seven states have at least one court opinion upholding some form of surrogacy, while in 5 states surrogacy contracts are null and unenforceable. To add to the inconsistency across the nation, Washington D.C.has proposed surrogacy legislation which would establish criminal penalties.
Illinois Surrogacy Law has some of the most surrogacy-friendly laws in the nation. In 2005, the Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act was passed to address the issue of surrogacy in the state. The law pertains only to gestational surrogacy agreeements (where surrogate mother does not donate the egg) and establishes guidelines for residency, sources of biological contributions, age limits, and other legal and health requirements for the intended parents and the surrogate mother.
Surrogacy is undoubtedly on the rise. States such as Illinois have adapted to the demand by establishing regulations and protections to streamline the process. For couples unable to have children of their own, surrogacy offers new hope. For surrogate mothers, the potential to earn money – often 20,000 and up- combined with the rewards of helping someone start a family, is naturally compelling.
If you are considering surrogacy, the Law Offices of Schlesinger & Strauss, LLC. can help you. We have successfully helped many of our clients with regard to surrogacy issues. Contact us today!
Source: New York Times, “Surrogates and Couples Face a Maze of Laws, State by State”, by Tamar Lewin, September 17, 2014