January 21, 2015 | Diane Hinson
Did you know that surrogacy contracts are illegal and subject to criminal penalties – including jail time – in the District of Columbia? It is for this reason that Creative Family Connections’ office is located in Chevy Chase, Maryland – even though we can reach out and touch the District with our toes!
Last year, Creative Family Connections played a key role in helping to draft a bill that would decriminalize surrogacy contracts in the District of Columbia and permit surrogacy for all kinds of parents – straight and gay, coupled and single. We then worked with a coalition of doctors, public interest groups, attorneys, LGBT groups, parents via surrogacy, and surrogates to support the bill in the last legislative session. Although the political support seemed to be there, the press of other business kept the bill from being enacted.
Creative Family Connections was therefore heartened that, in the DC Council’s first week back on the job, newly elected Council member Allen re-introduced a very similar bill and was able to obtain the co-sponsorship of every council member! Significantly, Allen’s legislative counsel is Anne Phelps, formerly the chief counsel to the Judiciary Committee when it was under Tommy Wells, who was a key supporter of the original bill.
Creative Family Connections applauds the Council for introducing the bill so early in its legislative session this time around! While there are a few kinks in the bill to be ironed out, this early introduction should allow enough time to do so.
A quick look at CFC’s interactive map, Gestational Surrogacy Law Across the United States, illustrates exactly what Councilmember Allen said when he introduced the bill – that DC is one of the most restrictive jurisdictions in the country for gestational surrogacy. DC is long overdue for a change.
To show your support for the bill, please send your opinions to Kate Mitchell, Legislative Director for the Judiciary Committee, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Diane S. Hinson
Owner and Founder