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Washington Makes It Legal To Compensate Women Who Give Birth As Surrogates

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For thirty years, it’s been illegal for couples in Washington to pay a surrogate to have their child. A new law signed by Gov. Jay Inslee this week changes that. 

It might surprise you that surrogacy has been against the law here.  Other states, including Oregon, California and Idaho have long allowed it.  For years, there have been attempts to make it legal in Washington as well.

This year, as part of a comprehensive overhaul of the state’s parentage act, known as the Uniform Parentage Act, the Washington Legislature included a section making surrogacy legal.

There are new regulations covering surrogacy, meant to protect both the intended parents and the woman being compensated for giving birth.

For example the surrogate must be at least 21 years old , has to have already given birth to a child and can’t act as a surrogate more than two times. Also, the intended parents can’t control things like what the woman eats during the pregnancy.

All parties involved must have a mental health evaluation .  The law also spells out that the intended parents are legally recognized as such.

Paula reports on groundbreaking legal decisions in Washington State and on trends in crime and law enforcement. She’s been at KNKX since 1989 and has covered the Law and Justice beat for the past 15 years. Paula grew up in Idaho and, prior to KNKX, worked in public radio and television in Boise, San Francisco and upstate New York.