New Federal Bill Could Allow Tax Deduction for Surrogacy Expenses, Remove Discrimination Against LGBTQ Tax Payers

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The proposed Equal Access to Reproductive Care Act brings hope for greater equality in the IRS regulations to LGBTQ families and single parents, a goal Men Having Babies has long sought as part of the organization's advocacy for Fertility Equality.

Adam Schiff [D-Burbank] Official Portrait

Adam Schiff [D-Burbank] Official Portrait

The Model Act includes a new definition of 'infertility' that includes 'a person's inability to reproduce either as a single individual or with a partner without medical intervention.'

Men Having Babies (MHB) applauds the filing of the Equal Access to Reproductive Care Act by Representative Schiff (D-Burbank) and Representative Chu (D-Monterey Park). The bill will allow people to deduct assisted reproductive care, including surrogacy, as a medical expense on their tax returns, without having to demonstrate a medical/physical infertility.

The proposed bill is an outcome of the work of a coalition of organizations, including Men Having Babies, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, NCLR (National Center for Lesbian Rights), COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere), GLAD (GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders) and Family Equality, among others. These organizations came together to help pass a bill to reform IRS regulations which prohibit tax deductions or credits for medical expenses associated with surrogacy. MHB’s valuable contribution to the coalition’s work included the ability to share the unique points of view of prospective parents, particularly those struggling with surrogacy costs. This effort is part of MHB’s advocacy initiatives to remove financial barriers for parenting, in addition to legal ones, a cause which we refer to as Fertility Equality.

The focus on making surrogacy as a path to parenthood more affordable was also the context of a collaboration between MHB, NCLR and RESOLVE to create a new Model Legislation for Infertility Coverage for IVF mandates that will be inclusive of same sex and single prospective parents. The Model Act includes a new definition of “infertility” that includes "a person's inability to reproduce either as a single individual or with a partner without medical intervention.” MHB submitted supporting statements and mobilized our members to help Illinois pass the first legislation in the nation that uses this definition, and to support similar ongoing legislative efforts elsewhere.

MHB will inform our members in the coming months on ways to encourage our representatives to support the bill. For more information, you may see the press release from Representative Schiff's office.

MHB plans to continue work for Fertility Equality for the LGBTQ community. In July, the organization appointed Alan Campbell as its new Advocacy Associate, with the goal to advance more equitable and accessible surrogacy and third-party reproduction for LGBTQ+ prospective parents. Campbell, who holds a PhD in Spanish-English Translation and Interpreting, will also work, in both the U.S. and internationally, to advance the standards included in MHB's Framework for Ethical Surrogacy.

About Men Having Babies
The international nonprofit Men Having Babies (MHB) is dedicated to providing gay men with unbiased advice and support to achieve parenthood through surrogacy. The organization’s Membership Benefits Program (MBP) offers a wide range of peer guidance options and access to exclusive discounts from over 125 surrogacy providers. Among the benefits of membership is the ability to apply to the Gay Parenting Assistance Program (GPAP), which annually provides dozens of couples with over a million dollars worth of cash grants, discounts and free services from leading service providers.

MHB’s annual conferences, workshops and webinars provide over two thousand attendees worldwide with unbiased guidance and access to a wide range of relevant service providers. Our extensive online resources include FAQs, a video library, Ask the Expert articles, and a unique surrogacy and gay parenting research library. The organization also offers a comprehensive surrogacy providers directory, including ratings and reviews of agencies, clinics and Law Firms, Our Advisory Board of leading surrogacy professionals assists in the provision of expert advice to members, and our framework for Ethical Surrogacy has received endorsements from LGBT parenting organizations worldwide.

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Yan Dekel
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