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What are the new potential surrogacy laws in Idaho?

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2023 | Surrogacy Law |

Surrogacy is one option for those with fertility problems to start a family. It’s an option that has dramatically increased in popularity throughout the globe. Idaho has been a very popular state for intended parents considering surrogacy, and many view the location as a hub for the procedure. The main reason behind this is that there is no robust legal framework in the state to regulate the surrogacy process. However, a new surrogacy law is being proposed in Idaho that can help parents even more if passed.

Understanding Idaho’s proposed law

Idaho’s House of Representatives has proposed a new potential law, House Bill 264, which addresses surrogacy and protects all parties involved in the gestational carrier agreement process. If passed, the Gestational Agreements Act, co-sponsored by State Reps Democrat Brooke Green and Republican Dori Healey, legal oversight of the surrogacy industry would enhance the already strong laws and codify best practices already in place.

Idaho’s Lack of Solid Surrogacy Laws: What it ImpliesM

One reason why many hopeful parents choose Idaho for surrogacy is that there are no laws about women being gestational carriers. This has led to people from different parts of the world coming to Idaho to pursue surrogacy for parenthood.

Right now, some surrogates in Idaho get paid for carrying babies, while others don’t. Surrogacy agreements are usually made between the surrogate and the person or couple who wants the baby, often mediated by an agency. The problem is that without proper laws, the parents as well as surrogates might face complications since there are no laws enforcing the agreement.

The big question is whether these agreements are fair in Idaho, and that’s what lawmakers want to change. If surrogacy is going to be allowed in the state of Idaho, there should be rules about how it’s done.

Parents currently face hurdles

If passed, the new law would protect babies, intended parents and gestational carriers in the state. Although Idaho is one of the leaders in surrogacy, the current law views the person who gives birth to the child as the legal mother. As a result, although gestational carriers don’t share any genetic link to the child they deliver, they must relinquish parental rights to the intended parents. This is even the case despite the contract the carrier and the parents entered into.

Unregulated Surrogacy may Lead to Issues

Many intended parents have expressed their discomfort with the situation, as the child shares their genetic makeup, while the surrogate has no biological connection to the child. However, the existing legislation in Idaho identifies the birth woman (i.e. the gestational carrier) as the mother, necessitating the need for an adoption procedure. Altering this scenario is one of the primary goals of the proposed bill.

One couple who resides in the state shared their story of struggles with infertility for 10 years. After the wife delivered their first child using a donor egg and underwent pregnancy complications, they decided to turn to surrogacy to have a second baby. The mother explained that she had cancer and it was an arduous process proving that their child was their own. After two years, she and her husband are still trying to establish that their baby is theirs.

The Idaho House of Representatives has thrown ample support toward the bill. Democrats and Republicans want to see intended parents automatically established as the legal parents of children born through surrogacy.

Surrogacy with a gestational carrier is often the best option available to couples and individuals who cannot carry their children to term.