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The Collaborative Reproduction Amendment Act of 2016 has gone into effect, ending the gestational surrogacy ban in the District of Columbia. Surrogacy is now legal, offering new family building choices for many potential parents, regardless of their sexual orientation.
The statute requires that all parties adhere to a framework of transparency and observe best practices, such as having separate legal representation.
Many proponents of surrogacy previously viewed DC as extremely outdated in regards to its surrogacy laws. Under the former statute, surrogacy contracts (including those that were altruistic) were unenforceable and prohibited and the parties involved could be fined up to $10,000 or risk a jail sentence.
Reports highlight how this former ban transcended DC, also affecting intended parents and surrogates in the surrounding states.
“The DC ban on surrogacy contracts affected not just DC’s prospective surrogates but all surrogates living in the metro area. Gestational carriers who lived in Maryland and Virginia were restricted by legal contracts from traveling into DC from the 24th week of pregnancy onward,” the Digital Journal reported. “This posed a significant challenge for the many residents of the metropolitan DC area who pass through all three jurisdictions during the course of an average day.”
According to reports, revision of the old statute was originally attempted in 2013, triggering many to step forward in support of the bill at the DC Council. Those in attendance included intended parents, reproductive law attorneys, and surrogacy agencies headquartered throughout the United States.
While potential parents living in the District are thrilled with the new surrogacy law, potential surrogates are also looking forward to the possibilities. Previously, agencies were unable to accept surrogate applicants living in DC, despite their desire to help others achieve their dreams of parenthood. The Collaborative Reproduction Amendment Act of 2016 is a great accomplishment, with many hoping that DC’s progressive stance on surrogacy will influence states that are still lagging.