New Jersey surrogacy bill could allow paid surrogate “carriers”

The landmark Baby M case -- a messy affair in which a surrogate refused to give away her parental rights to the child she carried -- swung an international spotlight on surrogate mothers' rights in New Jersey. Now, 25 years later, state legislators have narrowly approved a new measure that may, in future, allow residents to formally pay women to carry a donated embryo to term. The move has reignited the debate which surrounded the Baby M controversy, with supporters of the bill and its opponents rushing to bring their arguments before a vote in the State Senate. The new bill allows infertile prospective parents and women who will carry donated eggs to term for them. Opponents launched a campaign this week, saying the bill opens the door to surrogacy.

New Jersey never banned surrogacy, despite the Baby M controversy. The new bill would allow women to work as "carriers", meaning they would carry embryos to term then hand over the baby to an infertile couple or individual. Carriers could be paid full medical and living expenses as long as they signed legal papers to relinquish their rights as the child's parent. ~ The Record, May 31

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