On March 6th, 2018, Washington State ‘s Governor signed into law Senate Bill 6037, a version of the 2017 Uniform Parentage Act. This new Parentage Act was agreed upon and approved by the Uniform Law Commission in July of 2017 and Washington is the first state to enact it. This new law addresses issues related to same-sex couples, surrogacy, the right of a child to genetic information, de facto parentage, and parentage of children conceived through sexual assault and it updates many parentage law provisions that were outdated. Perhaps the most interesting and somewhat controversial provision of this new law is that it now provides a process for surrogacy in Washington state that will now allow payment of a fee or compensation to surrogate mothers. Surrogacy has long been allowed and common in Washington state but payment of a fee to the surrogate has been a crime – this Bill now changes the law in that regard so families who reside in Washington or have a surrogate here, will no longer have to go out of state. The new law becomes effective January 1, 2019 and requires very specific details and provisions to be in a surrogacy contract and also requires court involvement and approval of the surrogacy plan and agreement in some cases before the assisted reproduction procedures can take place. Again, this is a material change in the law in Washington State and as a result, surrogacy will become much more common avenue to family building.
If you have questions on the new law or would like assistance with any proposed surrogacy matters, please contact my office.