February 29, 2024

New Jersey governor vetoes commercial surrogacy

New Jersey has been the scene of two bitter legal battles over surrogacy. The latest one has ended with a win for foes of commercial surrogacy. A bill which would have stripped a gestational carrier of a claim on the baby has been vetoes by Governor Chris Christie. The move has been applauded by family and feminist groups. Kathleen Sloan, of the National Organization for Women, wrote:

“Women’s health and human rights advocates are popping champagne corks all over the country. Legislation that would have allowed commercial surrogacy — women renting their bodies to carry and deliver a pregnancy — with no protections for women who serve as surrogates and no regulation of the fertility industry was vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie. The bill was crafted by surrogacy brokers who saw huge dollar signs, and the blatancy of the commercial exploitation of women contained in this legislation is staggering.

“New Jersey is a bellwether of the surrogacy issue in many respects, so this development is a positive portent for those who care about exploitation of women and safeguarding their health.”

The governor’s press release stated:

“While some all applaud the freedom to explore these new, and sometimes necessary, arranged births, others will note the profound change in the traditional beginnings of the family that this bill will enact. I am not satisfied that these questions have been sufficiently studied by the Legislature at this time.”

The bill (S1599) would have authorised written contracts between commissioning couple and a gestational surrogate. Immediately after birth the former would be deemed the legal parents and the latter would have no parental rights. ~ NJ.com, Aug 8

Michael Cook
Creative commons
New Jersey