Surrogacy Bill Introduced in Louisana, again

Governor Bobby Jindal has not decided what to do yet about the surrogacy bill that was Introduced into the Legislature yet again. Louisiana lags behind its neighboring states where Surrogacy laws are concerned, as both Texas and Florida and other neighboring states have laws that more thoroughly protect the parties in a surrogacy contract. We have clients from Louisiana who seek surrogacy in Texas because the laws here are established and protect all parties in surrogacy. Louisiana is far behind and a law on surrogacy and guidelines there would establish them among the more progressive and educated states where surrogacy is concerned.

Gov. Bobby Jindal hasn’t made up his mind about a bill that would establish a legal framework for surrogacy birth contracts in Louisiana. He vetoed similar legislation last year, even though lawmakers had overwhelmingly supported it.

“We are in the process of reviewing the bill and will monitor it through the legislative process,” said Mike Reed, press secretary for Jindal.

Surrogacy allows a couple to have a child that is biologically their own, but carried to term by a third party. Other states have regulations in place that outline procedures and protections for the parents and the woman who is carrying the pregnancy. But in Louisiana, a contract governing a surrogacy cannot be enforced.

Rep. Joe Lopinto, R-Metairie, wants to set up a legal system and regulations that would allow couples to have a legally binding contract with the woman carrying their child. Lopinto said many Louisiana couples are have to pursue surrogacy partners outside of the state, where they have more legal protections.

At least one powerful Christian group that opposed the legislation and pushed for the Governor’s veto last year said they aren’t happy with the current surrogacy bill.

“We remain concerned about any bill that commercializes reproduction,” said Gene Mills, president of the Louisiana Family Forum, a conservative Christian advocacy group, about the legislation.

Mills commended Lopinto for making one significant adjustment from the bill as it was introduced last year. Lopinto’s legislation requires that a medical professional verify the couple can’t conceive through traditional methods before signing off on a surrogacy contract.

Still, Mills said the legislation doesn’t offer enough protections for the person who will be carrying the child. Women’s groups also raised concerns about the potential for exploitation of women involved in surrogacy last year.

“There are disproportionate protections for the parents and not for the woman in this bill,” Mills said.

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