By: Sam Schimel
Gestational surrogacy legality in New York state is what is needed to combat the immediate concern of declining birth rates. The Child Parent Security Act (CPSA) was introduced in 2020 to legalize gestational surrogacy which has been illegal for a large amount of time. A gestational surrogate is when a surrogate gestates a fetus, formed from an embryo using an oocyte from either the intended mother or an oocyte donor (which is combined with the sperm from either the intended father or a sperm donor. This type of surrogacy differs from traditional surrogacy, an agreement where surrogate also donates the oocyte. Gestational surrogacy is more often seen as less controversial than traditional, and the majority of states have legalized it.
Gestational surrogacy has had a long an arduous journey to legality in New York State beginning with the landmark New Jersey Case, aptly named the Baby M Case. The case concluded that the full surrogacy contract in question was not permitted by New Jersey law.  The case was controversial because the surrogate, whose own genetic material was used in a traditional surrogacy, decided that she didn’t want to follow the contract and wished to keep the baby instead. This case had such a profound effect, that it was not until this year that the Child Parent Security Act has been signed into law. 
There have been several recent controversies surrounding women’s reproductive health that have not helped the declining birth rate currently plaguing the U.S. From the Texas abortion law to cryopreserved embryo storage spaces malfunctioning resulting in the loss of dozens of frozen embryos. This sort of news is a light at the end of a currently dark tunnel. The CPSA allows for relaxed surrogacy eligibility and calls for reasonable compensation. This overhaul for New York State surrogacy legislation could not have come at a better time than when the overall birth rate in the United States has been significantly lowered by the pandemic-related financial stresses facing many Americans. The fact that this legislation was introduced at the same time as this decline in birth rate seems too strong of a correlation to be coincidental. But in any case, it could help bring the U.S. back on its footing and also make up for the current upsets in women’s reproductive health.
 Kate Swanson Et Al., Understanding gestational surrogacy in the United States: a primer for obstetricians and gynecologists, Ajog, April 2020, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002937820300582.
 Elizabeth Chuck, New York state, long a holdout against legalizing surrogacy, overturns ban, Nbc news (Apr. 3, 2020, 3:04 PM), https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/new-york-state-long-holdout-against-legalizing-surrogacy-overturns-ban-n1176071.
 Gerard Letterie & Dov Fox, Lawsuit frequency and claims basis over lost, damaged, and destroyed frozen embryos over a 10-year period, 79 Seattle Reproductive Medicine, Seattle, Washington; and School of Law, Center for Health Law and Policy and Bioethics, University of San Diego, San Diego, California (2020).
 Joseph Williams, New Surrogacy Law Brings Opportunities but Practitioners Beware, N.y.s. Bar Ass’n,, (Mar. 9, 2021), https://nysba.org/new-surrogacy-law-brings-opportunities-but-practitioners-beware/.
 Sabrina Tavernise, The U.S. Birthrate Has Dropped Again. The Pandemic May Be Accelerating the Decline, N.Y. Times (May 5, 2021), https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/05/us/us-birthrate-falls-covid.html.