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Thursday, May 21, 2015

New Jersey Assembly passes bill protecting LGBT parents and modernizing state law

Thursday, by a vote of 43 to 25, the New Jersey Assembly passed the New Jersey Gestational Carrier Agreement Act – an important bill that would modernize New Jersey law by giving legal parental rights and duties of a child carried by a gestational surrogate to the intended parent at birth. The bill will now go to Gov. Chris Christie, who previously vetoed the bill in 2012, to sign the legislation into law.

Passed by both chambers of the New Jersey Legislature, the New Jersey Gestational Carrier Agreement Act would authorize gestational carrier agreements under New Jersey law, providing a legal framework for gestational surrogacy in New Jersey. Gestational surrogacy is especially important to members of the LGBT community because it enables couples to establish parental rights and create a family while allowing such couples to have a genetic relation to their children. Gestational surrogacy is distinguished from traditional surrogacy, in which the carrier makes use of her own egg and therefore has a genetic relation to the child.

Over the past several years, gestational surrogacy has substantially increased as an option for family creation, and it is vital that states provide a system to govern this process.

If passed, New Jersey will join 14 states which currently have laws that allow for gestational surrogacy agreements.  The New Jersey Gestational Carrier Agreement Act will modernize New Jersey law and standardize a necessary government function in a simple way that is consumer friendly, safe, and professional.

“Modernizing New Jersey’s surrogacy laws is incredibly important to the Garden State’s LGBT community when it comes to establishing parental and family rights,” said HRC National Field Director Marty Rouse. “We implore Governor Christie not to stand in the way of progress and sign this important and bipartisan legislation into law.”


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