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Paid surrogacy legalized in Michigan after gov. signs package of bills

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a package of bills called the Family Protection Act, repealing a 1988 law.
Paid surrogacy legalized in Michigan after gov. signs package of bills
Posted at 9:24 AM, Apr 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-02 10:26:01-04

The law pertaining to surrogacy in Michigan changed Monday. Surrogacy contracts or paid surrogacy are now allowed in Michigan.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a package of bills called the Family Protection Act, repealing a 1988 law. 

State Rep. Samantha Steckloff, D-Farmington Hills, sponsored the main bill in the package.

For Tammy Myers, the moment was four years in the making. She fought to allow surrogacy contracts in Michigan. She said several drafts of proposed bills were made before the Legislature approved.

When asked what the tipping point was, Myers told Scripps News Detroit, "The tipping point, I think, is seeing that rights are being taken across the nation and we all need to fight for reproductive freedom.”

Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, and no longer able to bear children, the Grand Rapids resident hired a surrogate who bore her twins.

“Families like mine, we don’t have a lot of choices. This was our only choice to grow our family," Myers explained.

But a premature birth complicated her and her husband's rights as their legal parents.

“After our babies were born, you know, they rushed them out of the room just to get them stable and breathing, and it was in those moments that we got the first call from our attorney that the Grand Rapids judges had denied our emergency request for rights," Myers said.

Myers and her husband, Jordan, said they were forced to adopt their own children and it was a two-year fight.

- Advocates said the new law does the following:

- Legalizes and regulates surrogacy

- Allows surrogates to be fairly compensated

- Eases the process for families to get “formal recognition” of a parental relationship with their child

- Children born by surrogacy and IVF are to be treated equally under the law

- Surrogates have legal representation and are screened by medical professionals before entering an agreement

- Advocates say state law is also updated to protect LGBTQ+ families

When asked about the biggest hurdle on this, Whitmer told Scripps News Detroit, "Well, I mean, that whole time we had Republican majorities in the Legislature. We’ve had a Democratic majority for 15 months, and we’ve already made Michigan a more welcoming place, a place where you make your own decision, where you have full civil rights protections under the law.”

The governor's office said the new law officially takes effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns. That usually happens in late December.

This story was originally published by Darren Cunningham at Scripps News Detroit.

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