Lansing, Michigan – Michigan is one of the few states in the country that prohibits compensated surrogacy contracts. This means that individuals in Michigan are not allowed to pay someone to carry a baby for them. The state’s strict surrogacy laws present significant challenges for those who choose to have a child through surrogacy, particularly when it comes to gaining parental rights.
Adam Taylor, who had a baby with his husband through a surrogate, knows firsthand the difficulties faced by individuals seeking surrogacy in Michigan. Taylor, who now resides in California, mentors families in Michigan considering surrogacy and advocates for changes to the state’s surrogacy laws.
Before exploring surrogacy, the Taylors initially considered adoption. However, many adoption agencies in Michigan are affiliated with Catholic Charities, which can deny services to individuals whose lifestyles conflict with their religious beliefs. Faced with this barrier, the Taylors turned to surrogacy.
Michigan’s surrogacy law, enacted in 1988, prohibits surrogacy contracts and grants complete legal authority to the surrogate, leaving genetic parents with no legal rights or protection. This law adds additional complexity and cost to the already challenging surrogacy process, especially for LGBTQ+ couples. In addition to medical and psychological screenings, couples must also set up a family trust before finding an egg donor and a surrogate who meets the clinic’s screening requirements.
Adam Taylor shared his frustrations with the process, recounting the emotional toll it took on him and his husband. Their breakthrough came when a family friend volunteered to be their surrogate, providing much-needed hope and relief. To ensure their parental rights were protected, the Taylors worked with legal professionals to obtain a pre-birth certificate order (PBO), which allowed both of them to be named on the birth certificate as parents.
Despite the challenges and financial burden surrogacy presented, the Taylors were determined to have a family. Their journey ultimately cost them six figures, covering attorney fees, medical bills, insurance, and other expenses.
Adam Taylor now uses his personal experience to advocate for changes in the surrogacy process. He has pushed for surrogacy benefits to be included in retirement packages for Chrysler employees and supports a bill package sponsored by Senator Samantha Steckloff that aims to legalize surrogacy contracts in Michigan. Taylor believes that these legislative changes would provide individuals with more accessible avenues to surrogacy instead of relying on online searches or social media for guidance.
In conclusion, Michigan’s ban on compensated surrogacy contracts poses significant challenges for individuals seeking to have children through surrogacy. Despite the barriers, individuals like Adam Taylor are fighting for changes in the laws and advocating for greater accessibility to surrogacy in the state.