Powered by Google TranslateTranslate
Moving the Needle on Reproductive Justice and Family Planning in DC
Guillaume Bagal
Guillaume Bagal
Public Policy Associate

April 17, 2017

Earlier this month, the Collaborative Reproduction Amendment Act became law in DC after completing its Congressional review period. The passage of this bill brings an end to the District’s criminalization of surrogacy parenting, and offers a framework to regulate surrogate parenting agreements.

This victory is the result of four long years of advocacy by individuals including community and LGBTQ advocates Peter Rosenstein and Bob Summersgill, Sarah Warbelow of the Human Rights Campaign, Emily Hecht-McGowan of Family Equality Council, Nancy Polikoff of the American University Washington College of Law, Michele Zavos of Zavos Juncker Law Group, and, immediate past GLAA president Rick Rosendall.

An earlier version of this bill was introduced in 2013, and later revised in 2015 before stalling in the Council’s Judiciary Committee until its release in November 2016. Prior to the passage of this bill, individuals involved in parties to surrogacy agreements were subject to a fine of up to $10,000 and a one-year prison sentence. This antiquated law impacted both heterosexual and LGBTQ people who wished to start a family, forcing them to seek surrogacy services elsewhere, while living in legal uncertainty as residents of the District of Columbia.

It is undeniable that surrogacy is a controversial and nuanced policy issue. States vary widely in their positions, some enforcing surrogacy agreements, some banning them, and others permitting them under specific circumstances. Furthermore, many states simply have no laws regarding surrogacy contracts. While fourteen states to date have legislation that regulates and permits surrogacy arrangements, the practice remains explicitly prohibited in Indiana, and even in more progressive states like New York, New Jersey, and Michigan. Read more about Surrogacy Law here.

We applaud the many organizations and individuals involved in the successful effort to modernize DC law on this issue, which is of particular importance to many LGBT people who want to become parents. The DC Council’s and Mayor’s decision to make this family planning option available to its residents speaks volumes as to their recognition of the evolving definition of family, and their commitment to reproductive justice. In our continued fight to provide quality and culturally competent care to LGBTQ people, we look forward to working with District officials and local partners to ensure that the District’s family law reflects the reality of our City’s diverse families.

All our Services are available in multiple languages upon request.

Our bilingual staff and volunteers will help get the language services you need!

202.745.7000

You might also be interested in

40 STORIES

Ellen Kahn, Finding Purpose & Community During ...

August 19, 2018

40 STORIES

Antonio Hardy, Being a Resource to My Peers

August 12, 2018

40 STORIES

Lesbian Services Program, Meeting the Health Ne...

August 05, 2018

40 STORIES

Michael Shilby, Feeling Calm, Centered & Seen a...

July 29, 2018

40 STORIES

1407 S Street, A Pillar of Hope

July 22, 2018

40 STORIES

The Bill Austin Day Treatment Center

July 15, 2018

40 STORIES

Whitman-Walker Health, We See You

July 08, 2018

40 STORIES

Tony Burns, Learning and Living with HIV in Was...

July 01, 2018

BLOG

Keeping My Community In Mind

June 29, 2018

BLOG

New Transgender Women's Health Study Now Enrolling

June 26, 2018

40 STORIES

Ahmed, Gaining Strength & Living Each Day Like ...

June 24, 2018

40 STORIES

The Power of Mentorship and Thriving with HIV

June 17, 2018

POLICY BLOG

Masterpiece Cake – What Did the Supreme Court D...

June 12, 2018

40 STORIES

Joe Izzo, Re-Defining Safer Sex in the Age of H...

June 10, 2018

40 STORIES

Derrick "Strawberry" Cox, Spreading Joy & Love ...

June 03, 2018

40 STORIES

Lili Leonard, The Strength of Being a Lifelong ...

May 27, 2018

40 STORIES

D. Magrini, A Washingtonian & What She Wishes S...

May 20, 2018

40 STORIES

Winifred Quinn, Advocating for LGBTQ Seniors th...

May 13, 2018

40 STORIES

Don Blanchon, Recognizing 12 Years of Servant L...

May 05, 2018

40 STORIES

Adisa Bakare, A Helpful & Passionate “Leader of...

April 29, 2018

40 STORIES

Randy Pumphrey, Amplifying the Memories of Long...

April 22, 2018

40 STORIES

Bianca Rey, Advocating for Myself and My Commun...

April 15, 2018

40 STORIES

Barbara Lewis, Empowering Women through Healthcare

April 08, 2018

40 STORIES

Max Robinson, A Pioneer of Black Journalism

April 01, 2018

40 STORIES

Gerard Tyler, Disco & Getting Friends Tested

March 25, 2018

40 STORIES

Carl Corbin, Whitman-Walker Makes Me Feel Like ...

March 18, 2018

40 STORIES

Joanne Sincero, Serving Empathy

March 11, 2018

40 STORIES

Chris Straley, Understanding Us as People

March 04, 2018

40 STORIES

Richshaad Ryan, Marking Each Birthday with an H...

February 25, 2018

40 STORIES

Grayson & Christine, I See the Real You

February 17, 2018

40 STORIES

Kermit Turner, Music Notes and the Many Faces o...

February 11, 2018

40 STORIES

Madison Chambers, Growing & Educating with Real...

February 03, 2018

40 STORIES

Jim Graham, An Influential Leader

January 27, 2018

40 STORIES

Meet Dr. Mary Edwards “Walker”

January 20, 2018

40 STORIES

Meet Walt Whitman

January 13, 2018

POLICY BLOG

Moving the Needle on Reproductive Justice and F...

April 17, 2017

POLICY BLOG

A Major Step Forward for LGBTQ Civil Rights

April 13, 2017

POLICY BLOG

Summit on Black Lives: Black America’s Response...

February 08, 2017

Let's Keep in Touch

Get the latest Whitman-Walker Health community news delivered to your inbox!

SUBMIT