Unfortunately, I am pressed for time today and cannot go into greater detail about California’s progressive new surrogacy legislation. So that will have to wait for another day. However, I did want to highlight the key, groundbreaking provision that I am most proud and excited about:
Intended parent” means an individual, married or unmarried, who manifests the intent to be legally bound as the parent of a child resulting from assisted reproduction.
On its face, California Family Code §7960(c) appears to be a straight-forward definition of who is an Intended Parent. But appearances can be deceiving. By defining “Intended Parent” to be “an individual, married or unmarried”, California has become the first jurisdiction in the world to legislate away discrimination in its definition of a parent. Under this revolutionary definition, same-sex couples and single individuals will now be afforded the same rights and protections as their married, heterosexual counterparts. While California has long recognized the rights of individuals and gay couples to proceed with surrogacy arrangements, this is the first time these groups have a statutory recognition of their parental rights. Simply stated, California Family Code §7960(c) expands the fundamental right of procreation and extends equal protection under the law to everyone — without regard to marital status or sexual orientation.
Less than a dozen states in America have passed laws legalizing surrogacy. None of these states however explicitly extended those rights and protections to same-sex couples, single men and single women. California did itself proud with this legislation. Hopefully, other states will follow suit.