A Year in Review: The Biggest Surrogacy News From 2019

And, just like that, another year is gone. Here at American Surrogacy, we celebrated many achievements during 2019, and we look forward to those that 2020 will bring, too.

As is our tradition, we take this chance now to look back on what 2019 brought to us and to gestational carriers and intended parents across the U.S. Catch up on what you missed or remind yourself of all the good things that happened here!

At American Surrogacy…

Our surrogacy specialists have been hard at work all year helping intended parents and gestational carriers prepare for the surrogacy process. Since January, they have guided many of our clients through the steps of this journey, from screening to matching to delivery. In fact, we have many gestational carriers and intended parents at different steps in this process as we close out the year.

We are also happy to announce that American Surrogacy helped to bring more babies into the world in 2019 than we did in 2018 — and we are on track to do the same in 2020!

In U.S. Legislation…

As gestational surrogacy becomes more popular across the country, state legislatures continue to update outdated laws to make the family-building process more accessible to all kinds of parents. Here are just a few of the major changes:

  • Washington State Implements New Legislation: The new year started off with a positive note when Washington state enacted new legislation that: made compensated surrogacy legal and enforceable; set standards for enforceable gestational surrogacy contracts; protected intended parents’ rights to their children; added new requirements for traditional surrogacy; and gave new protections to any child born of the assisted reproduction process. Way to go, Washington!
  • Nevada Prohibits Surrogacy Discrimination: In response to insurance companies setting coverage exemptions for surrogate pregnancies, Nevada’s State Assembly and Senate passed a law in June that prohibited insurance providers from “denying certain coverage for maternity care because the insured acts as a gestational carrier.”
  • Virginia Makes Surrogacy Law Gender-Neutral: After a gay couple in Virginia went through a custody battle for their surrogacy-born son, their story inspired a state delegate to file legislation for “Jacob’s Law,” which would protect parental rights of same-sex couples and single parents who used a surrogate in the state. The governor signed the bill into law in June.
  • Utah Supreme Court Protects LGBT Parents’ Rights: A ruling by the Utah Supreme Court in August made it clear that, just because LGBT intended parents may not have an intended mother in their surrogacy agreement, they can still pursue this family-building process.
    The ruling struck the language referring to an intended mother being “unable to bear a child” from legal statute. Now, Utah intended parent couples who do not include intended mothers are afforded all the same protections under marital law as any heterosexual couple.

In other important worldwide news, India officially passed long-in-the-works legislation that bans commercial surrogacy and sets strict requirements for any Indian nationals that want to build their family in this way.

In Pop Culture…

While there are thousands of intended parents and gestational carriers going through this process every day, the most visible journeys are often those completed by people in the public eye.

Here are just a few of the celebrities who used gestational surrogacy to add to their families this year:

  • Michelle Buteau: The comedian and actress welcomed twins in January. Seven months later, she wrote candidly about her experience with infertility, IVF and gestational surrogacy for Glamour.
  • Andy Cohen: Bravo host Andy Cohen welcomed his first child — son Benjamin Allen — via surrogate on Feb. 4. He thanked the wonderful surrogate who was “carrying [his] future.”
  • Kim Kardashian and Kanye West: The parents welcomed their fourth child, Psalm, via gestational surrogate on May 9. Psalm is their second child born via surrogacy; their daughter Chicago was born via surrogate in 2018.
  • Ricky Martin: The singer and his husband Jwan Yosef welcomed their fourth child, born via gestational surrogacy in October. Martin already has a set of twin boys born via surrogacy in 2011 and a daughter also born via surrogacy earlier this year.
  • Kandi Buress: The “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star and her husband Todd Tucker welcomed their second child together via surrogacy on Nov. 22. Her journey with surrogacy had been documented on the Bravo reality show, and she stated on her Instagram that she felt like she “gained a new friend” with her gestational carrier.

PBS Independent Lens also took an in-depth look into the gestational surrogacy industry with “Made in Boise,” a documentary following four gestational carriers living in Boise, Idaho, and their intended parents. It’s an interesting look at the ups and downs of the surrogacy process in the “unofficial” surrogacy capital of the U.S.

As we wrap up 2019, our team at American Surrogacy wishes everyone a happy New Year and only the best in the surrogacy journeys to come in 2020!

Is starting your surrogacy journey your New Year’s resolution? Contact our surrogacy specialists today to get started.

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