This bill seeks to repeal the provisions of the existing Code that make surrogacy criminal in the District of Columbia. It would permit surrogacy-parenting contracts in the District, and ensure all residents equal access to family building options.
Chevy Chase, MD (PRWEB) June 25, 2013
Legislation to permit surrogate-parenting contracts in the District of Columbia received consideration recently, when the Council of the District of Columbia’s Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety held a 4-hour public hearing on June 20, 2013, on the proposed measure.
Initially introduced by D.C. Councilmember David Catania, Bill 20-32 seeks to repeal the provisions of the District’s existing Code that make surrogacy criminal. At present, the legislation would permit gestational surrogacy contracts within the District and establish safeguards to ensure that all parties to such contracts, and the child that will result, are protected.
Leading off the witnesses testifying on behalf of the legislation, Diane S.Hinson, Esq., Founder and Managing Attorney for Creative Family Connections LLC, the largest surrogacy matching and legal services law firm in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area, explained the existing law’s impact on intended parents who reside within the District, and its implications for denying equal rights for all of its residents.
“The District of Columbia is the only jurisdiction in the entire country where all surrogacy contracts are criminal. It stands alone in the “Red Light” category on my firm’s State Surrogacy Laws Map, which means that only in D.C. are surrogacy contracts completely prohibited,” said Hinson. “No surrogacy contracts are written at all in the District, and the reason is simple: The consequences of violating the law include fines of $10,000 and jail time of one year.”
As referenced by Hinson, Creative Family Connections’ map is a state-by-state comparison of surrogacy laws and is the only such resource of its kind on how surrogacy laws are actually practiced in each of the 50 States and the District of Columbia.
“When we explain to prospective parents who live in the District why we cannot match them to a surrogate in the District, their reaction is pure shock…and disappointment. After all, the District of Columbia has a track record of being a leader in this nation in providing equal rights for all its residents, including the right of same-sex couples to marry,” continued Hinson.
Hinson summarized for the committee what she and other proponents see as the solution to this inequity, Bill 20-32, which Hinson played a key role in helping to draft.
“Bill 20-32 repeals the provisions of the existing Code that make surrogacy criminal. It permits surrogacy contracts in the District, while establishing safeguards to ensure that ‘best practices’ are used, and it allows the District to move into its rightful and progressive leadership place, and into the coveted “Green Light” category on the map. In doing so, the District Council will ensure that all its residents can build families," closed Hinson.
About Creative Family Connections LLC
Founded in 2001, and conveniently located in the surrogacy-friendly state of Maryland and nearby Washington D.C., Creative Family Connections is a boutique law firm that focuses exclusively on Reproductive Rights and Reproduction Law. Creative Family Connections offers services to intended parents seeking to build their families through gestational surrogacy, collaborative reproduction, assisted reproductive technology, as well as egg, sperm and embryo donation. The firm uses a rigorous screening process to match prospective parents to gestational surrogates, and as the intended parents’ attorneys, also drafts and negotiates legal agreements and obtains court orders to secure parental rights. Creative Family Connections provides services to clients both gay and straight who reside throughout the US and around the world. Prospective parents and others interested in learning more about the surrogacy matching and legal services offered by Creative Family Connections can visit Creative Family Connections for more information.
About Diane S. Hinson, Esq.
Diane S. Hinson, Esq. received her JD from Harvard Law School. She is a member in good standing of the District of Columbia Bar, the Maryland Bar, and the Virginia Bar, and an elected Fellow of the American Academy of the Assisted Reproductive Attorneys, a member of the American Bar Association’s Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technologies, and a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s Legal Professional Group.