Legislation to regulate surrogacy births nearing final passage

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Legislation to regulate surrogacy births in Louisiana is nearing final passage. 

The House-approved measure (House Bill 187) by Rep. Joe Lopinto, R-Metairie, quickly sailed through a Senate judiciary committee on Tuesday. Louisiana law has few regulations governing surrogacy, the arrangement in which a woman carries and gives birth to a baby for another couple. Lopinto’s bill would spell out who can be a surrogate and what legal rights the parents, the surrogate and the child have. 

Surrogacy would be allowed only for married couples consisting of a man and woman. To be a surrogate, a woman would have to be at least 25 years old and no older than 35, have previously given birth, and undergo mental and physical evaluations. She would have to agree to relinquish all rights to the child she would be carrying for the married couple. 

The surrogate wouldn’t be able to receive any compensation for carrying the child, except for medical expenses and certain other costs related to the pregnancy. Gov. Bobby Jindal vetoed a similar bill last year because of moral and ethical objections raised by social conservatives and religious leaders. But Lopinto has worked with the groups and has reached compromise language that removed many of the objections. The bill moves next to the full Senate for debate.

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