On April 2, 2020, the New York Child-Parent Security Act (CPSA) passed the New York Legislature as part of Governor Cuomo’s year 2020 budget package – one of his top priorities. The CPSA is comprehensive, addressing and securing the legal relationship between children conceived through third party reproduction and their intended parents, and discards New York State’s antiquated ban on compensated gestational surrogacy. The New York State ban on enforceable compensated surrogacy arrangement, where the surrogate provided the egg, remains.
The CPSA will be hugely impactful on the many thousands of New York families having children through third party reproduction. It sets forth clear legal procedures for obtaining a judgment of parentage for children born through sperm, egg or embryo donation or with the assistance of a gestational carrier. It is gender and marriage neutral and, like ART law across the country, parentage is determined by reference to the intention to parent rather than the genetic connection between the parent and child. The bill also allows those who created embryos during their marriage to enter into an agreement transferring sole dispositional control of the embryo to one party and absolving the former spouse of parental responsibility.
The most detailed provisions of the CPSA deal with the parentage of children born through surrogacy arrangements. Very detailed protections for surrogates were included to address the concern of many New York legislators that the economic disparity between surrogates and the typical Intended parent(s) exposed surrogates to the risk of exploitation. As a result, the CPSA likely provides NY surrogates with the most protection afforded by any parentage statute in the country.
It will be important for anyone considering a New York surrogacy arrangement to review the very detailed requirements of the surrogacy agreement laid out in Part 4 of the bill. There are other very important and progressive components of the bill, including changes to New York State’s Voluntary Acknowledgements of Paternity/Parentage and the imposition of best practices on the professionals working in the field. While there is no doubt that many will find the strict requirements set forth in the CPSA to be burdensome, those same requirements will go far to protect all parties from the unsavory practices which can occur in the absence of statutory regulation. My AAAA colleagues and I, who have been working to gain passage of the CPSA for close to a decade, assure you that passage of the bill is a giant leap forward which will make life easier and better for the tens of thousands of New York families requiring Third Party Reproduction to build their family.
— Denise Seidelman is a Trustee of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys and a Fellow practicing both Adoption and ART law in New York