On August 1st, 2019, New Hampshire Governor Sununu signed SB 279: relative to access to fertility care into law. The law, which can be found at RSA 417-G, updates New Hampshire’s health insurance statute to expand coverage of infertility treatment to group insurance plans. This means that starting January 1st, 2020 when the bill takes effect, most employer-provided health insurance plans will be required to cover the diagnosis and treatment of fertility related conditions.
New Hampshire’s current surrogacy statute can be traced back to 2014, when Attorney Jim Bianco and the Avenues to Surrogacy team successfully secured the passage of SB 353. This law (RSA 168-B) gave New Hampshire some of the best and most modern surrogacy laws in the country. New Hampshire is now recognized as a national leader in surrogacy and our law serves as a model for other states as they work to update their own laws.
This new law does not specifically apply to surrogacy, but rather to what is categorized as standard fertility preservation services. This includes the procurement and cryopreservation of embryos, eggs, sperm, and reproductive material, and must be determined not to be an experimental infertility procedure. Currently, the law applies only to employer-provided plans, not individual health insurance plans. Still, this measure will save residents of New Hampshire a significant amount of money and make IVF much more accessible.
As the main architects of New Hampshire’s surrogacy statute, Attorney Jim Bianco and the Avenues to Surrogacy team views this new law as an important step forward for fertility policy in New Hampshire. While surrogacy coverage was not included in this bill, we would love to see this coverage included in a similar bill in the future. If you have specific questions about the new law, or would like to discuss how the Avenues to Surrogacy team can assist you, please give us a call at (603) 228-6712 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BY JAMES J. BIANCO, JR., ESQUIRE
For over 30 years, members of the Avenues to Surrogacy team have helped clients build families, primarily through adoption. In working with these couples and individuals, we’ve become aware of the desire to grow a family through surrogacy as well. We also understand that there are many options in which to grow a family. Surrogacy is a unique opportunity for families who may not be able to carry a biological child but would like to raise a baby with their genetic components. Families who have struggled with infertility, single individuals, and same sex couples may find that surrogacy is an ideal path to parenthood.
When I first met the Avenues to Surrogacy team, I could tell they were more like a family than an agency or law firm. Jim and the entire staff were incredibly supportive throughout the entire process, and he always said, “Don’t worry. We will take care of everything for you so you can just focus on being pregnant.” And that I did! My time as a gestational carrier ended in October 2016 when I gave birth to happy and healthy twin boys! It was a wonderful experience.
When my husband and I began looking into surrogacy to complete our family, we were overwhelmed and intimidated by all of the legal aspects that go in to such an arrangement. Thankfully, one of our first calls was to Avenues to Surrogacy. From the start, Jim and his team not only provided us with excellent legal representation and advice, but they also did so in a manner that was compassionate, professional, and that exceeded our expectations. Throughout the duration of our time working with Avenues to Surrogacy, we were always kept in the loop regarding everything going on and their team was always quick to respond to our many questions, giving us the guidance and reassurance that we needed.
It is without reservation that we recommend Avenues to Surrogacy to anyone looking in to and pursuing surrogacy.
Joshua and Nicole
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.