State-by-State Surrogacy Laws: Surrogacy in New York
New York has an interesting history with surrogacy. Until 2021, New York was one of only two states that imposed criminal liability for commercial surrogacy. The Child-Parent Security Act changed this dramatically with New York becoming the first state to directly license surrogacy agencies. Under the Child-Parent Security Act, surrogates are placed into a surrogate registry which tracks gestational surrogates across the state.
The Act provides clear surrogacy-screening guidelines. These guidelines are extensive with a host of very specific disqualifying factors such as history of depression, conflict with authority, or the loosely defined “chaotic lifestyle.” Read more at the New York Department of Health’s website.
The Child-Parent Security Act requires fully executed surrogacy contracts to be in place at the onset of a gestational surrogacy arrangement. Surrogacy agreements are considered enforceable and the Act mandates that they be in compliance with a multitude of statutory requirements. Meeting all of the requirements in New York requires thoughtful drafting and careful consideration which can only be achieved with the help of a qualified New York-state licensed attorney familiar with the breath of surrogacy provisions in the state. If you need help finding an attorney to learn more about surrogacy in New York state or to represent you, Surrogacy Place has a directory you can access as a resource.
The Child-Parent Security Act includes a Surrogate’s Bill of Rights which specifies the surrogate’s sole authority in making all health decisions that directly affect her body before and during a gestational pregnancy. She has the right to require all medical expenses and insurance payments be covered by Intended Parent(s), the right to mental counseling, and the right to be represented by an attorney she personally selects which the Intended Parent(s) pay for. Surrogates have the sole authority to decide whether and under what circumstances to terminate a pregnancy. This is true in all states where commercial surrogacy is practiced, though New York specifically expresses a surrogate’s right to decide with respect to abortion via statue.
The Child-Parent Security Act does not provide the same protections for traditional surrogacy. On the contrary, compensated Traditional surrogacy (where a surrogate’s own eggs are used) remains illegal in the state.
The Child-Parent Security Act dictates that at least one Intended Parent be a US citizen or permanent resident as well as a resident of New York. This means that international Intended Parent(s) are ineligible to complete a surrogacy journey in the state. There are additional residency requirements which can be discussed with a qualified attorney.
Pursuant to the Child Parent Security Act, pre-birth orders are available for child(ren) born via surrogacy; these orders are effective at birth and are issued to Intended Parents or surrogates that meet New York’s residency requirements as well as the surrogacy-specific requirements outlined in the Act.
As a self-matching site where Intended Parents and surrogates vet each other without an agency or surrogacy consultant, Surrogacy Place does not meet the definition of a “matching program” as outlined in the Child-Parent Security Act. Surrogacy Place does not currently provide background checks, health/medical/psychological screenings, nor do we in any way assess the suitability of potential matches. For independent journeys (but also if you decide to go through an agency!), it’s up to Intended Parents and surrogates to do their own due diligence in evaluating suitable matches. No one should do this alone; always lean on the trusted guidance of medical and legal professionals before solidifying a match. It’s extremely helpful to narrow down your pool of candidates – and Surrogacy Place is an excellent platform to help you find potentials – however, you should always have legal and medical experts sign off before making your final decision on matches.
Because of New York’s specific parameters and the uncharted territory with respect to how New York views “matching programs”, New York residents are excluded from registering as surrogates on our platform at this time. Intended Parents who are residents of New York should consult qualified Assisted Reproductive attorneys for advice on how to proceed with surrogacy via the standards set forth in the Child-Parent Security Act.
New to surrogacy? Here’s a guide on some of the costs Intended Parents can expect to pay.
Curious about surrogacy guidelines in other states? Explore our surrogacy by state hub.