NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced he will again introduce legislation in 2020 to legalize gestational surrogacy in New York.
It’s one of only three states where it’s still not legal.
An apartment full of kids laughing and screaming is what Michael and Melissa Musman dreamed of when they got married. Melissa Musman says her fertility was compromised after she received radiation for tumors in her pelvis and abdomen.
Surrogacy is illegal in New York, so the Sheepshead Bay couple had Sean, now 11, through a surrogate in Illinois and 4-year-old twins, Joshua and Samantha, from another surrogate in Pittsburgh.
“We wish it was legal at the time in New York when we did it,” Michael Musman told CBS2’s Lisa Rozner.
Future parents, including LGBTQ couples, could have it easier if legislation being re-introduced by Cuomo passes the legislature.
It would legalize gestational surrogacy in New York and include protections for surrogates, like granting a surrogate the right to decide on terminating a pregnancy and access to health insurance and legal counsel paid for by the intended parents.
Governor Cuomo says unpaid surrogacy is allowed, but unpaid surrogacy agreements are unenforceable and not legally binding.
Risa Levine is an advocate for RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association.
“We have some of the best clinics in New York, but families or wannabe parents can’t access this technology in New York,” she said.
The legislation passed the Senate this last session but was never brought up for a vote in the Assembly. Support is growing but there’s still opposition.
New York State Senator Liz Krueger says, “I have serious concerns about the impact of commercializing the buying and selling of eggs and the renting of wombs, particularly for low-income women.”
“They wanna be a surrogate, so they’ve already done research, they’ve already done the background information. They know the risks they’re taking,” Melissa Musman argued.
Experts say a surrogate makes around $30,000 and parents can pay around $100,000 for the process.
A process these parents say can only help in New York.