At long last, the Collaborative Reproduction Amendment Act, legalizing and regulating surrogate parenting agreements in the District, took effect on April 7 after completion of its congressional review period. It is Law Number L21-0255. This was the last major piece of family-related law on GLAA’s agenda. We testified on it back in June 2013:
“We strongly support the legalization and regulation of surrogacy parenting agreements. This is one of our key legislative goals, and represents a major step in ensuring that the District’s family law reflects the reality of our city’s diverse families and affords them equal protection….
“The current law is a relic. Our more recent lawmaking reflects an understanding that love and commitment are what make a family. The District, which was ahead of the national curve in enacting civil marriage equality, must catch up with the new ways by which many families in our city are formed. That is in the best interests of all involved, especially the children.”
It is hard to express how important this victory is. It isn’t just that couples who want to use surrogacy no longer have to go out-of-state to do it. This is a sign of respect for the reality of diverse families. The ban this law ends was not gay-specific, but it disproportionately affected gay couples. And with every legal landmark we set down, our erasure (which our enemies are still set on doing) becomes more difficult.
This law protects all parties to a surrogacy agreement. It is about creating and growing families, regardless of the sex of the parents. Congrats and thanks to all the advocates, organizations, and legislators who supported this bill, and to Mayor Bowser for signing it into law.