Gloria Steinem and dozens of New York women’s rights, civil and human rights advocates express deep concern about proposed New York Senate bill on reproductive commercial surrogacy and call for public deliberations
New York, May 25, 2023 – Dozens (and counting) of New York children’s and women’s rights advocates, including the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, author and feminist activist Gloria Steinem, medical and public health professionals, surrogate survivors, and members of the LGBTQI+ community signed a letter to the New York State Senate and Assembly leadership detailing their concerns regarding Bill S.5107 introduced by Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal.
The bill significantly amends the Child-Parent Security Act (CPSA) that legalized reproductive commercial surrogacy in New York. The CPSA was enacted by former Governor Andrew Cuomo in April 2020 as a line item in the 400-page state budget at the height of the COVID-19 emergency in New York. It was never afforded the opportunity of critical public discussions or deliberations.
Although Bill S.5107 is presented to the NYS Senate as a merely technical, “clean up” intervention, it in fact introduces substantive changes that far worsen the positions of children born of surrogacy arrangements, persons providing gametes, and surrogates.
The extensive amendments to the CPSA offered by Bill S.5107 propose to: (1) deny a surrogate child’s fundamental human right to know the identity of his or her birth mother; (2) allow the possible removal of the surrogate mother’s identity on the child’s birth certificate; (3) weaken the CPSA’s residency requirements of the surrogate and the intending parent(s); (4) increase highly coercive contract remedies; (5) eliminate certain legal fees coverage for the surrogate in the event of a litigated dispute with the intending parent(s); (6) suggest that gamete providers have parental rights they must relinquish; and (7) loosen the requirements that surrogates must be administered informed consent procedures.
The speed with which the proposed amendment appears to be moving through the New State Senate approval process just a few days before the end of the legislative session is extremely troubling. The signatories of the letter call for open and fair deliberations and discussion on Bill S.5107.
For more information, contact:
Wendy Chavkin, MD, MPH
Yasmine Ergas, JD
Taina Bien-Aimé, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women