Baby Mama Drama: Parentage in the Era of Gestational Surrogacy

November 21, 2012

Although recent decades have seen a boom in the development of technologies that manipulate the human reproductive cycle, many states have been slow to adopt laws regulating third-party reproduction. While a handful of states recognize the validity of gestational surrogacy contracts, others find such contracts to be against public policy. Most states’ statutes, however, are silent on third-party reproduction. Improving technologies will continue to open the door to more reproductive breakthroughs and the surrogacy industry will invariably grow. Infertile individuals will increasingly turn to what they consider a valuable and necessary service to fulfill their dream of having a family. States must take steps to legalize third-party reproduction, regulating it so that both the rights of intending parents and the best interests of the children produced through contractual arrangements receive adequate protection. States should model such statutes on Article 7, Alternative B of the American Bar Association’s Model Act Governing Assisted Reproductive Technologies, which respects the intentionality of intending parents and includes common-sense safeguards to reduce litigation and protect the best interests of children created through third-party reproduction.