Cuomo’s Surrogacy Law Ignores the Rights of Children

25 February 2021

1.7 MINS

“New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Surrogacy law legalises commercial, gestational surrogacy — the buying and selling of newborns,” said Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., Founder and President of the Ruth Institute. “We unequivocally deplore this law.”

Already in hot water over his alleged responsibility for COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes, Cuomo refused to have the bill considered as stand-alone legislation. Instead, he had it buried in the state budget last April to avoid a debate. The new law took effect February 15.

“Gestational surrogacy is all about the rights of adults. The Governor’s self-congratulatory press release makes this very clear: he talks more about insurance than about the bonds between mothers and fathers and children,” Morse charged.

The announcement states that the surrogate has a right to health insurance provided by those renting her womb. The ‘parents’ have the right to purchase insurance to cover their financial losses in the event that the surrogate ‘fails to perform under the surrogacy contract.’ What exactly does ‘fail to perform’ mean? I suppose it means the mother wants to keep the baby.”

Morse continued,

“The worst part of this bill is that rights of the child aren’t even alluded to. The child has no right to a relationship with his or her biological parents, whom the law callously refers to as ‘gamete providers.’ Let’s be clear: the ‘egg provider’ is the child’s genetic mother. The ‘sperm provider’ is the child’s genetic father. The child has no right to know his or her genetic identity and cultural heritage. The law specifically separates the child from these people.”

“And let’s be even more clear,” Morse continued.

“The ‘surrogate’ is the child’s gestational mother, who carried the child in her womb for nine months. Civilised people believe it is a good thing for mothers to bond with their children in utero. The surrogacy industry, aided by the law, assures the ‘intended parents’ that the surrogate will not bond with the baby and will surrender the baby at birth.”

Morse further stated:

“Supporters of surrogacy include the LGBT lobby, who refer to this law as providing ‘Family Equality.’ They want undisputed parental rights to the children they contract for, rights which can only be provided by government intervention. But Cuomo’s law creates inequalities among children: some children have a legally recognised right to know their genetic parents and others do not. The Ruth Institute categorically deplores surrogacy.”

For further background on the Cuomo surrogacy law, see:

[Photo by Hollie Santos on Unsplash]

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