Does it surprise you to learn that surrogacy contracts aren’t currently valid in Michigan?
In this day and age, many parents take an untraditional route to parenthood. Pregnancy can be difficult, dangerous or outright impossible for some women, and surrogacy is one way that they can still become parents. However, surrogacy contracts are currently disallowed in three states, including Michigan – and Michigan is the only one that criminalizes them.
That may change, however, if Rep. Samantha Steckloff and others have their way.
The Assisted Reproduction and Surrogacy Parentage Act may change things
While opponents say that allowing surrogacy contracts would essentially “put children up for sale” and “exploit vulnerable women,” the Assisted Reproduction and Surrogacy Parentage Act, or HB 5207, would actually bring Michigan in line with the vast majority of other states.
Currently, organizing a surrogacy contract is a felony offense that can result in a $50,000 fine and five years in prison. Participating in one is a misdemeanor offense that can be punished by a whopping $10,000 fine and a year in jail.
If HB 5207 passes, surrogacy contracts can be made so long as the surrogate is over 21, has previously given birth and completed a battery of medical and mental health tests to assure suitability. In addition, the surrogate would have to have independent legal representation throughout the entire process to protect their rights.
While it remains to be seen if HB 5207 will garner enough bipartisan support to pass during the next legislative session, there is much optimism surrounding the bill.
If you are considering an alternative path to parenthood, like surrogacy, it pays to have experienced legal guidance early on. That can help you stay abreast of any changes in the law as they develop.