New York, NY – Family Equality Council today announced the launch of a campaign to advocate for policies in New York State that support families who rely on advances in medical assistance to have children. The Protecting Modern Families Coalition will focus on passage of the Child Parent Security Act during the 2019 state legislative session. This critical legislation will modernize New York law to support and protect families that utilize assisted reproductive technology, such as in vitro fertilization or gestational surrogacy.
“New York is known as a place where every type of family is welcome. Unfortunately, our state’s progressive ideals fall short when it comes to supporting LGBTQ people and so many others who want to become parents,” said The Rev. Stan J. Sloan, CEO of Family Equality Council, which works to advance equality for LGBTQ families . “New York’s outdated laws lag far behind most other states in easing the burden for families who rely on assisted reproductive technology to become parents. Fifty years after Stonewall, it’s time to protect all New York families.”
Over the past three decades, medical technology has evolved in ways that allow new options for those experiencing infertility as well as for LGBTQ people in forming their own families. Unfortunately, New York law has not experienced that same evolution – forcing New Yorkers to live with uncertainty about the legal relationship between intended parents and their children or else leave the state to pursue these new options.
“We work with so many New Yorkers who, because of the state’s outdated laws, experience real hardship and legal uncertainly in fulfilling their dreams of having a family,” said Risa A Levine, New York resident and Board Member of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. “We are proud to be a part of the campaign to win passage of The Child Parent Security Act, which would modernize New York’s laws and make our state the leader it should be in supporting all families.”
Unlike states with more supportive laws, current New York law governing assisted reproductive technology relies primarily on biology rather than intention to determine parental rights. This can result in sperm and egg donors having rights and responsibilities they don’t want, while intended parents and their children are forced into legal limbo. Additionally, New York is one of only two states in the country where it is illegal to enter into a surrogacy agreement.
The Child Parent Security Act, sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, would modernize New York law so that intended parents who enlist the help of a third-party to conceive their child would have a secure legal relationship with their child from the moment of birth. It would also legalize gestational surrogacy (where the surrogate is not genetically connected to the child because she did not contribute her egg), provided that the arrangement follows “best practices” in the field that protect the interests of the surrogate, intended parents, and child.
Child Parent Security Act (S17/A6959): To protect all modern families, including families headed by LGBTQ people and or those experiencing infertility, by eliminating demeaning and expensive requirements for establishing parenthood for lesbian couples and ending the criminalization of gestational surrogacy.
Protecting Modern Families Coalition
To raise awareness of the issue and mobilize supporters to take action, Family Equality Council has formed the Protecting Modern Families Coalition, bringing together key organizations including the Academy for Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys, American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Auburn Theological Seminary, Equality New York, Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of New York City, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, and Union Theological Seminary
The campaign will be managed by Marc Solomon and Civitas Public Affairs Group. Emily Giske and Bolton St. John’s will lead government relations. Peter Kauffmann and Bluejacket Strategies will oversee communications.
Ed Harris / Chief Communications Officer