Janene Oleaga, Esq.
The New York Family Court Act Surrogates' Bill of Rights
Updated: Jan 26, 2021
The New York Child-Parent Security Act (CPSA) is unique in that it includes a list of non-waivable rights for individuals acting as surrogates in New York. These rights are guaranteed to all surrogates in New York whether or not New York law is applied in the Gestational Carrier Agreement.
Note: The term "surrogate" as used in the Child-Parent Security Act and in this article refers to gestational surrogates. Gestational surrogacy refers to the arrangement where the surrogate gestates the pregnancy but does not contribute the egg. Traditional surrogacy, when the same person contributes their egg and gestates the pregnancy, remains unenforceable and illegal if compensated in New York State.
This New York Surrogates' Bill of Rights is a source of pride for those involved in drafting and passing the CPSA legislation as it provides some of the strongest protections for surrogates in the country including:
the right to make all health and welfare decisions regarding the pregnancy including seeking care from health care practitioners of their own choosing;
the right to independent legal counsel of their own choosing paid for by the Intended Parents;
the right to a comprehensive health insurance policy paid for by the Intended Parents;
the right to a life insurance policy paid for by the Intended Parents;
the right to psychological counseling related to the surrogacy arrangement paid for by the Intended Parents; and
the right to walk away from any surrogacy agreement prior to embryo transfer without penalty.
The rights enumerated in the Surrogates' Bill of Rights are not exclusive, and additional rights may be provided by future legislation or regulations, or during the contracting phase of any surrogacy arrangement. Any attempt to waive or limit these rights is void as against public policy.
See below for the Surrogates' Bill of Rights as codified in the New York Family Court Act Article 5-C, (§§) 581-601 - 581-607.
For more information about surrogacy in New York, or to understand the complete surrogacy journey, see Oleaga Law LLC's related blog post: Surrogacy in New York and the Child-Parent Security Act.
This post contains general information about assisted reproductive technology, third party reproduction, surrogacy and the New York Child-Parent Security Act. Neither this website nor its contents should be construed as legal advice. An attorney-client relationship is not formed by viewing this article, nor by sending communication through this website.
Janene Oleaga and Oleaga Law, LLC expressly disclaim all liability arising from actions or inactions based on the content of this article.