Wednesday, February 16, 2011
From the Associated Press:
A measure that would have outlawed surrogacy birth arrangements in South Dakota was defeated Monday by a state House panel. The Judiciary Committee voted 9-3 to reject the measure after even its main sponsor said the issue needs more study before state law is changed.
Hunt said Monday's hearing demonstrated that South Dakota must eventually adopt laws to regulate surrogacy, particularly cases involving commercial arrangements that pay a lot of money to women who carry other people's babies.
"It's coming. This is going to be a big business. We're going to have to deal with the situation where it's for money," Hunt said.
The bill would have made any surrogacy arrangement or contract unenforceable. It would have kept parental rights with the woman who gives birth to a child, even if she was not the genetic mother.
People involved in such surrogacy agreements could have faced civil penalties and criminal charges.
However, Tom Barnett, director of the South Dakota State Bar, said the measure would likely have prevented all surrogacy births. He said the State Bar, doctors and others could work on a model law that would regulate surrogacy arrangements but not prevent them.
"Surrogacy arrangements are a legitimate method for a loving couple to have their own child. What can be wrong with that?" Barnett said.
Harold Cassid,y of Shrewsbury, N.J., a lawyer who has worked on surrogacy disputes, said surrogate mothers often develop deep ties with a fetus. Surrogacy contracts determine child custody without any consideration of a child's best interests, he said.
Brokers are now inducing women to be surrogate mothers in exchange for money, Cassidy said.
"It calls for a breeding class of women who are to be discarded," Cassidy said.
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