For Washington state residents who want to add to or complete their families through surrogacy, and for the women who will help make that happen, there are some new protections under a recently passed law. Washington’s Uniform Parentage Act has been amended and improved to address a number of arrangements related to surrogacy.
Compensated surrogacy, still banned in some states, will no longer be banned by Washington’s criminal laws. Instead, the new law provides for a framework of regulation designed to protect women’s rights. That framework, developed over a period of years, should serve to balance the rights, duties and obligations between surrogates and the families that engage them.
For women considering entering into surrogacy arrangements, the law ensures they will retain control over and will be able to make decisions related to their own health and activities throughout the duration of their pregnancies. Additionally, making sure the surrogate’s rights are protected is important, so women entering into surrogacy arrangements need legal counsel during the contract stage – and throughout the pregnancy. Washington’s new Uniform Parentage Act includes provisions requiring such legal protection.
Similarly, families and individuals who want to work with surrogates to expand their families now have protection under Washington law, including regulation over third-party surrogacy brokers, which can help them avoid unconscionable brokers or arrangements that seek to take advantage of their desire to use surrogates’ services.
One of the stated aims of the new law is to help keep surrogacy arrangements in Washington state, so the state’s residents are not tempted to use surrogates in other countries where a lack of (or lax) regulation can lead to exploitation.
In addition to strengthening and adding protections to surrogacy laws, Washington’s Uniform Parentage Act also guarantees that same-sex parents will be afforded the same protections and parentage rights as opposite-sex couples and increases protections for rape survivors who give birth after becoming pregnant as a result of their assaults.
Regardless of what state you are in, working with a reproductive rights attorney can help ensure your rights are protected when you decide to grow your family through surrogacy. Our team of experts has the experience and ability to tailor a comprehensive family plan for you. After a thorough review of your third-party parenting needs we will present you with a contract and finalize your parental rights, if necessary, that will suit your needs. Contact us today to learn more!