News Article

Advocates Disappointed With Parental Rights Ruling

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
October 25, 2012

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Surrogate birth advocates are disappointed with a New Jersey Supreme Court ruling that says a woman without a biological connection can’t be a baby’s mother without adoption.

Advocates say the parental rights law discriminates against infertile women.

Donald Cofsky is president-elect of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and represented the couple who challenged the law.

He says the waiting period for an adoption often takes months, and that could cause problems if the birth mother dies before the adoption is finalized.

 “It she hasn’t prepared a will the child gets nothing from her. Let’s say she did prepare a will and she was of means leaving things to the child, the child is not a relative of hers, the child has got to pay inheritance tax.”

Mellissa Brisman is an attorney who helps arrange for surrogates. She says New Jersey’s law causes people who want a surrogate to go to other states.

"Almost my clients go out of state and the reason for that is easy because you can’t get a paid carrier in the state.”

New Jersey lawmakers passed a bill that would have listed the rights of entering into surrogacy contracts, but it was vetoed by Governor Christie. Advocates are hoping the legislature makes another attempt so women who want to use a surrogate can get the right to be identified as the mother on the birth certificate.

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