Minnesota lawmakers consider surrogacy standards

Minnesota lawmakers consider surrogacy standards

Minnesota lawmakers consider surrogacy standards

Minnesota lawmakers are poised to set standards for surrogacy arrangements if a bill passes this session. The Uniform Parentage Act was passed in the House at the end of April and is included in the Senate Health and Human Services bill, according to Sen. Erin Maye Quade’s office.

“The lack of clarity and certainty within our current statutes makes this bill especially necessary,” said Rep. Athena Hollins(DFL-St. Paul) during a House floor session.

The legislation details how parentage works, including covering donor rights and cases of divorce. It lays out requirements for surrogacy agreements and rules for ending them. It also outlines qualifications for surrogates.

“These issues are especially important to same-sex couples but the reality is many Minnesotans have to rely on IVF or surrogacy in order to have a child,” said Hollins.

The legislation also includes guidelines for compensation for surrogates. Representative Peggy Scott introduced an amendment, which she explained would, in part, limit compensation to pregnancy-related expenses. The amendment did not pass despite support from several other Republicans.

“We want to make sure that no woman is making a life-changing decision out of coercion,” said Rep. Anne Neu Brindley (R-North Branch).

The bill was opposed by several groups, including the Minnesota Catholic Conference, which said in a written statement that it disagrees with creating a legal framework for surrogacy agreements due to a problem with surrogacy in general.

The legislation is based on recommendations from the Uniform Law Commission, and similar laws have now been implemented in at least seven other states.

“Each state is a little different,” said Gina-Marie Madow, the director of legal services at ConceiveAbilities. “But this is very similar to what we’re seeing state to state.”

The national surrogacy and egg donation agency works with Minnesota families.

“This act hits the act on the head,” she said. “If there’s a law on the books, we know exactly what must be included and we’re not at risk for the court requesting additional information.”

Madow believes it will give both parents and surrogates a level of certainty.

“Intended parents who come to surrogacy tend to have a lengthy infertility history and they approach the process with a lot of nervousness and it’s difficult for them when we don’t have clear answers for how the process will really go for,” she said. “This act gives them security.”