FAQs: New Hampshire Surrogacy Bill (SB353)

UPDATE: The New Hampshire surrogacy bill has now been signed into law. 

I’ve been getting a lot of questions from both intended parents and prospective surrogates about the pending New Hampshire surrogacy bill, so I wanted to address some of the most common questions here:

Q: What changes will the NH surrogacy bill make to current surrogacy law?

A: The surrogacy bill makes three important changes:

1. The bill brings New Hampshire surrogacy laws into conformance with the state’s nondiscrimination laws. All intended parents (married, unmarried, single) will now be able to pursue surrogacy in New Hampshire. The bill also does not discriminate between straight and gay intended parents. Additionally, the bill will allow for use of donor eggs, donor sperm, and donor embryos in a nondiscriminatory manner.

2. The bill recognizes the critical distinctions between gestational surrogacy (using eggs from the Intended Mother or an egg donor) and traditional surrogacy (using the surrogate’s own eggs). The bill’s protections will apply to gestational surrogacy only. While traditional surrogacy continues to be legal in NH, it will be governed by a different legal framework.

3. The bill reduces unnecessary expense, delay, hassle and anxiety for all participants in a gestational carrier arrangement by simplifying the court process and allowing for expedited prebirth orders, which place the intended parents on the child’s initial birth certificate and relieve the gestational carrier of any obligations to the child following birth.

Q: Does the bill permit a surrogate to be compensated?

A: The bill permits reasonable compensation, and also requires that the compensation schedule be written into the gestational carrier contract.

Q: What is the status of the bill?

A: As of last week (the first week in June), the bill was waiting for the signatures of the Speaker of the House, the Senate President and the Governor.  I am very hopeful that the Governor will sign the bill.

Q: When will the new law take effect?

A: Immediately.  There is no lag time for implementation.

Q:Under this bill, what would be the minimum requirements for a woman to become a gestational surrogate in NH?

A: She would need to be 21 years old, have given birth to at least one child previously, and be able to safely carry another pregnancy.

[New Hampshire lawyer Catherine Tucker