New Surrogacy Law in DC

June 25, 2017


In April, a new law for surrogacy became law in the District of Columbia.

Prior to the passing of this new law, all parties to surrogacy agreements were subject to a fine up to $10,000 and a one year prison term. This ban had been in place for 25 years, and D.C. was the only jurisdiction making surrogacy a criminal offense.

Opponents of surrogacy argue that the practice is unnatural and exploits women.  Concerns in some western European countries have made compensation for surrogacy illegal. Supporters of surrogacy say that it represents a rare chance for to make families for some people.

The new D.C. law streamlines the process for would be parents, and allows them to be named on the birth certificate, so they can avoid filing for adoption after the birth. The law applies to any would-be parent, regardless of sexual orientation and biological relation.

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Florida Becomes First State to Issue Miscarriage Birth Certificates

June 12, 2017


From my guest blogger, Samuel Nicosia.


Partisan lines have been crossed as both Florida Republicans and Democrats support the Grieving Families Act (GFA). The GFA allows Florida to issue “certificates of nonviable birth” upon request by the parents for those women whose pregnancies end after nine weeks and before twenty weeks.

In Florida, pregnancies ending after twenty weeks are considered to be stillbirths, and are issued death certificates and a birth certificate upon request of the parents. Although numerous other states also issue death certificates in the instance of miscarriages, no state has anything equivalent to a birth certificate for these cases.

Both parties have widely supported the GFA, stating that it gives parents the opportunity to obtain a birth certificate in the wake of losing a child to a miscarriage. The only opposition comes from the National Organization for Women who believe the GFA is a tactic by those who oppose abortion to establish an earlier point at which the life of a child begins. However, both Republicans and Democrats have rejected this argument since the issuing of a “certificate of nonviable birth” is optional.

Do you believe the GFA helps families who lost their child due to a miscarriage? Will other states follow Florida’s lead in issuing “certificates of nonviable birth”?

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