Bioethics Blogs

Surrogacy Now Legal in DC

As of April 7th, surrogacy is now legal in the District of Columbia.  B21-0016, the Collaborative Reproduction Amendment Act of 2015, allows surrogacy agreements to be made and enforced.  Previously, surrogacy contracts of any kind (commercial or not) were illegal, and contracting parties could be imprisoned and fined.[1]  The new law permits both gestational and traditional surrogacy.[2]

DC joins 46 states in permitting surrogacy contracts.  Only Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Washington prohibit surrogacy arrangements.[3]  Although surrogacy is legal to varying degrees across the country, it is a harmful and exploitative method of assisted reproduction.[4]  Perhaps most often overlooked is the fact that surrogacy arrangements violate the human rights of the child.  As George Annas argues, “Surrogacy [arrangements] never [consider] the child’s welfare, only the welfare of the contracting parents.”[5]

[1] http://www.nbc-2.com/story/35095100/legislation-ends-decades-old-ban-on-surrogacy-contracts-in-dc

[2] http://www.creativefamilyconnections.com/us-surrogacy-law-map/dc

[3] http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2017/04/19109/ e

[4] http://www.cbc-network.org/pdfs/What-is-Wrong-with-Surrogacy-Center-for-Bioethics-and-Culture.pdf

[5] George J. Annas, “Fairy Tales Surrogate Mothers Tell” in Surrogate Motherhood: Politics and Privacy, ed. Larry Gostin (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University, 1990), 52.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.