Target: Missouri Governor Jay Nixon
Goal: Update outdated surrogacy laws so couples facing infertility issues don’t face legal trouble to have a child
The state of Missouri currently has no clear laws on surrogacy, resulting in many legal difficulties associated with the process. Couples are forced to leave the state in order to use a surrogate, causing further problems for those facing infertility. Missouri must re-write their laws to make clear that surrogacy is legal.
In the United States, surrogacy laws are either conflicting or unclear in over 30 states. This creates a large problem for women with fertility issues, who face a narrow number of options if they wish to have a smooth experience. Although adoption is an option, many families wish for a child that is theirs genetically.
These laws are so outdated that they predate modern medical advancements. Under the current laws in Missouri, a surrogacy can be interpreted as child trafficking for everyone involved. Although it is unlikely a judge would make such a charge, it is still one possibility on top of the many other issues regarding parental rights.
Parental rights for the biological parents in the case of a surrogacy in the state of Missouri are non-existent. The law does not grant them sole parental rights or immediately put their names on the birth certificate. Instead, they must go through an adoption program, where they could be denied custody of their child. Additionally, the law currently states that the birth mother, and not the biological one, is the mother of the child; this means the surrogate can deny the biological mother parental rights.
Surrogacy is already incredibly expensive, costing anywhere between $20,000 to $100,000. Adding costs associated with going to other states for surrogacy only further skyrockets the price. On top of all of this, the price of surrogacy in the states where it is clearly legal is driven up due to their exclusivity.
By signing the petition below, you will help encourage the governor of Missouri to update current surrogacy laws. Such outdated laws that were created before modern medical advancements are more harmful than helpful.
Dear Governor Nixon,
Your state’s current surrogacy laws are so outdated that couples are forced to go to another state to use a surrogate. Women who face the problem of infertility should not also have to worry about avoiding legal difficulties. These laws must be updated for surrogacy to become a viable option.
Under your current laws, a surrogacy could still be interpreted as child trafficking. On top of this, biological parents have practically zero parental rights in the case of a surrogacy. Instead of immediately gaining parental rights and having their names on the birth certificate when the child is born, they must instead go through an adoption service where they could be denied their child. On top of this, the birth mother, not the biological one, is considered the mother of the child and can deny the biological mother parental rights if she so chooses.
With surrogacy costing between $20,000 to $100,000, additional costs for going to other states is ridiculous. On top of both of these monetary issues, prices for a surrogate increase in states where the law is clearly defined due to their exclusivity.
Please take action to update the current surrogacy laws in Missouri. Leaving them as they are causes unnecessary problems and places additional burdens on couples facing infertility.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: paparutzi via Flickr