Paid surrogacy is no longer a crime in Michigan

By Marie E. Matyjaszek

Coming in last, Michigan joins the rest of the states in finally decriminalizing paid surrogacy. On April 22, Governor Whitmer signed the Michigan Family Protection Act which will aid those who grow their families with the help of science, thereby ending a state policy that prohibited compensated surrogacy and surrogacy contracts.

As most people know, surrogacy is when a person other than the intended parent carries the baby for those who will become the child’s legal parents. For people who are unable to become pregnant the “old fashioned way,” surrogacy is an important option to make their dream of becoming parents come true. Surrogates are giving more than nine months of their lives to help others, as medical preparation, legal contracts, and meetings occur prior to the actual implantation of the embryo.

“Decisions about if, when, and how to have a child should be left to a family, their doctor, and those they love and trust, not politicians,” said Governor Whitmer. “If we want more people and families to ‘make it’ in Michigan, we need to support them with the resources they need to make these deeply personal, life-changing choices. The Michigan Family Protection Act takes commonsense, long-overdue action to repeal Michigan’s ban on surrogacy, protect families formed by IVF, and ensure LGBTQ+ parents are treated equally. Your family’s decisions should be up to you, and my legislative partners and I will keep fighting like hell to protect reproductive freedom in Michigan and make our state the best place to start, raise, and grow your family.”

Prior to the new act taking effect, Michigan criminalized paid surrogacy, with penalties of a $10,000 fine and a maximum of one year incarceration. The new act encompasses nine bills, including surrogate regulations. According to the Michigan Fertility Alliance, only 5 percent of women meet the law’s standards for who can be a surrogate, lessening the chance of complications. The law sets forth what surrogacy agreements must contain and rules that must be followed, and clarifies how the parent-child relationship is established.

These changes greatly help those within the LGBTQ+ community as well as others who need reproductive assistance. While it took Michigan a long time to reach this point, it’s better late than never.


The author is an Attorney Referee at the Washtenaw
County Friend of the Court, the views expressed here are her own. She can be reached at 

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