Senate passes ‘Gestational Carrier’ bill

TRENTON – Under a bill passed today by the Senate, parents of a child through a “gestational carrier” agreement would be recognized as the official parents of the child and amendments would be made to the state regulations of an agreement.

S1599, sponsored by Sen. Joseph Vitale, (D-19), Woodbridge, passed by a 21-11 vote.

The bill amends the state’s definitions of a parent and child relationship to include intended parents pursuant to a valid gestational carrier agreement. The bill also amends a state statute to provide that a valid gestational carrier agreement can serve as an evidence of paternity. The intended parent’s name would also appear on the child’s birth certificate as the parent of the child.

Unlike traditional surrogacy, where a woman is artificially inseminated with the semen of the intended father and gives birth to a child through the use of her own egg, the gestational carrier in a gestational carrier agreement does not make use of her own egg and therefore is not genetically related to the child, according to the legislation.

The bill also outlines guidelines for who can carry the fetus for the parents, as well as the requirements of a written agreement.

Sen. Gerald Cardinale, (R-39), Demarest, spoke against the legislation, saying a “commercialized industry” would be established if the legislation passes. Senate passes ‘Gestational Carrier’ bill