On May 30, 2018, New Jersey caught up to the medical science behind assisted reproductive technology when Governor, Phil Murphy, signed a bill into law entitled “The New Jersey Gestational Carrier Act”. Pursuant to this new law, residents of New Jersey who are struggling with infertility are now permitted to enter into legally binding agreements with gestational carriers. This new law protects the rights and interests of Intended Parent(s), Gestational Carriers, and the children resulting from these agreements. The law stipulates that gestational carrier agreements are enforceable when certain requirements are met. Under the law, single people, as well as those married or in a civil union or domestic partnership, are permitted to enter into these agreements. Upon birth, Intended Parent(s) is the legal parent of any child born by the gestational carrier and the gestational carrier would not have any parental rights or responsibilities.
More specifically, the law requires all parties to undergo medical and psychological screening by licensed professionals prior to entering into a gestational carrier agreement. All parties must be represented by independent legal counsel to ensure they understand their rights and interests as it relates to the agreement they are entering into. Additionally, a gestational carrier is required to be at least 21 years old and have given birth to at least one child.
This is exciting news for New Jersey and I hope many more states follow in its footsteps.
**This new law only covers gestational surrogacy, where the gestational carrier does not make use of her own egg and is therefore not genetically related to the child. This law does not cover traditional surrogacy, where a woman utilizes her own egg and is therefore genetically related to the child.