Apr 3, 2024 - News

Paid surrogacy contracts decriminalized

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer participates in a women's rights session in New York City in September 2023.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer participates in a women's rights session in New York City in September 2023. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation Monday to end the state's criminal ban on paid surrogacy and surrogacy contracts.

Why it matters: Michigan was the last U.S. state to criminalize compensated surrogacy and related contracts, Axios' April Rubin reports.

  • The law also protects families with children born via in vitro fertilization and protects the treatment of LGBTQ+ parents, Whitmer said in a news conference.

State of play: Under the Family Protection Act, a surrogacy agreement must include compensation, support and reasonable expenses.

  • Under Michigan's law, some parents had to go through an adoption process for their biological children born through a surrogate, the AP reported.
  • Surrogacy contracts were considered "void and unenforceable" under the existing law.

Between the lines: The bill package will take effect 90 days after the Legislature concludes its 2024 session, because the state Senate's passage in March didn't garner two-thirds support, per the Free Press.

What they're saying: "Our outdated law prescribed up to a year of jail time and a $10,000 fine for using a surrogate," Whitmer said on Monday. "Today's bills repeal that ban and better protect surrogates, children and parents."

Flashback: The ban was put into place in 1988 in response to a legal surrogacy case.

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