New Jersey Gestational Carrier Agreement Act: A Comprehensive Guide
In recent years, gestational surrogacy has become a popular option for intended parents who are unable to conceive or carry a child themselves. In the United States, the legal landscape surrounding gestational surrogacy varies from state to state. In 2018, the state of New Jersey took a significant step in recognizing the rights of gestational carriers and intended parents with the passage of the Gestational Carrier Agreement Act (GCAA).
What is Gestational Surrogacy?
In a gestational surrogacy arrangement, the intended parents provide the egg and sperm, which are then fertilized through in vitro fertilization (IVF). The embryo is then transferred to the gestational carrier’s uterus, who carries the pregnancy to term. Unlike traditional surrogacy, in which the surrogate uses her own eggs, gestational surrogacy allows intended parents to have a biological connection to their child.
What is the New Jersey Gestational Carrier Agreement Act (GCAA)?
The GCAA is a law that governs the legal relationship between intended parents and gestational carriers in New Jersey. The law provides a framework for the parties to enter into a gestational carrier agreement (GCA) which outlines the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved.
One of the key provisions of the GCAA is that it requires all parties involved in a gestational surrogacy arrangement to have independent legal counsel. The intended parents and the gestational carrier must each have their own attorney to review and negotiate the terms of the GCA. The law also requires that the terms of the GCA be approved by the court before the embryo transfer takes place.
What are the Requirements for Intended Parents and Gestational Carriers under the GCAA?
The GCAA sets out specific requirements that intended parents and gestational carriers must meet in order to enter into a GCA. These requirements include:
– Intended parents must be a married couple, an individual, or a domestic or foreign partnership that is recognized as a legal entity by the state of New Jersey.
– Intended parents must be unable to conceive or carry a child themselves, or have a medical condition that makes conception or pregnancy medically inadvisable.
– Gestational carriers must have given birth to at least one child and be a resident of New Jersey.
– Gestational carriers must undergo medical and psychological evaluations to ensure that they are physically and emotionally capable of carrying a pregnancy to term.
What are the Rights and Responsibilities of Intended Parents and Gestational Carriers under the GCAA?
The GCAA outlines the rights and responsibilities of both intended parents and gestational carriers in a gestational surrogacy arrangement. Some of the key provisions of the law include:
– The intended parents have the right to make decisions regarding the pregnancy and the child’s health and wellbeing.
– The gestational carrier has the right to make decisions regarding her own health and wellbeing during the pregnancy.
– The intended parents are responsible for all medical expenses related to the gestational carrier’s pregnancy and childbirth.
– The gestational carrier is entitled to receive reasonable compensation for her services as a surrogate.
The GCAA also recognizes the rights of the child born through gestational surrogacy. The child is considered the legal child of the intended parents from the moment of birth, and the gestational carrier has no legal rights to the child.
The New Jersey Gestational Carrier Agreement Act is a groundbreaking law that provides much-needed clarity and legal protections for intended parents and gestational carriers involved in gestational surrogacy arrangements. By requiring parties to enter into a comprehensive GCA and undergo independent legal counsel, the law ensures that all parties are fully informed and protected throughout the process. If you are considering gestational surrogacy in New Jersey, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney who can help guide you through the legal requirements and implications of the GCAA.