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Talmud Law The Law Offices of Rebecca J. Talmud

What happens if a surrogate chooses to end the pregnancy?

On Behalf of | Sep 26, 2023 | Adoption

New York made a big move in 2020 by passing a law to manage gestational surrogacy better. The law is known as The Child-Parent Security Act (CPSA). It simplifies the process for parents to have children using assisted reproductive technology (ART). During this process, both the parents-to-be and the surrogate have certain rights.

One crucial right that could open the conversation for both parties is the right to decide whether to continue or end the pregnancy.

Body autonomy

A key idea in New York’s surrogacy law is that the surrogate maintains complete autonomy over her body. This control usually involves making decisions about her health during pregnancy, such as declining certain medical treatments or even considering ending the pregnancy. It’s important to note that surrogates maintain this control, or autonomy, throughout the whole process. When a surrogate decides to terminate the pregnancy, it typically refers to the right to have an abortion.

Surrogacy contract

Those considering surrogacy often turn to an agency. This agency guides them through the process, explains the costs and helps them find a suitable gestational surrogate. They also assist in creating a surrogacy contract between the prospective parents and the surrogate. In New York, a surrogate’s legal right to make personal health decisions, including abortion, cannot be waived. Even if a contract includes such a clause, it’s unlikely to be enforceable. It is unenforceable since it infringes on the surrogate’s right to bodily autonomy.

Situations like this can be complex and emotionally charged. To navigate these issues, all parties involved must clearly communicate from the beginning. Moreover, both parties must understand potential scenarios that could happen in the process. The surrogacy contract should address these possible scenarios, including decisions about the outcome of the pregnancy.