BY JAMES J. BIANCO, JR., ESQUIRE
Prior to 2014, New Hampshire had an antiquated statute regarding surrogacy. The process was extremely risky for intended parents and did not provide any benefits or protections to gestational carriers. As a result, the law was not often used and people were forced to focus on other methods to create or grow their families.
New Hampshire, however, is ideally situated near many advanced medical providers in both NH and in the Greater Boston area. Individuals and families using these facilities began to reach out to us more and more to inquire about the surrogacy process. In talking with these individuals, members of what is now the Avenues to Surrogacy team realized the need to revise and update New Hampshire’s surrogacy law. Through much research and consideration, Avenues to Surrogacy worked collaboratively with attorneys, legislators, and other interested parties to develop a surrogacy statute that protects both intended parents and gestational carriers throughout the process. The result is a law that takes the best components of surrogacy statutes from around the country and combines them to create a modern, progressive, and safe method of creating a family.
In New Hampshire, the surrogacy statute is structured so that when a baby is born, the child automatically assumes the name of the intended parents. The surrogate, who is carrying the child, is protected in her role and has no responsibility for the baby, financially or otherwise. She also does not need to endure an emotional process in which she surrenders her rights to a child that is not hers biologically. This agreement is defined in a contract and signed by both parties, which helps to prevent complications and allows both the intended parents and gestational carrier to enjoy the process as much as possible. As an intended parent, you have a guarantee that the child is yours, throughout pregnancy. As a gestational carrier, you are compensated for your role and provided with supplemental funds for things like additional insurance and maternity clothes. These are significant advantages to New Hampshire’s surrogacy statute when compared to many other states, in which the legal rights of the intended parents and protections for gestational carriers can be much more complicated.
Intended parents receive a wonderful gift from the generous act of a gestational carrier. The surrogate is able to benefit from helping expand another family. It is a wonderful process for everyone involved and, thanks to New Hampshire’s revised process, there is no better state in the country to explore gestational surrogacy.