LANSING — A bill package allowing surrogacy contracts in Michigan passed out of the House early Thursday morning, bringing the state in line with much of the rest of the country.
Michigan is one of three states that criminalizes or voids surrogacy contracts, the other two being Nebraska and Louisiana.
Rep. Samantha Steckloff, D-Farmington Hills, is a sponsor of the package and has been open about her struggles with infertility following chemotherapy treatments.
“This package is about parentage and protecting out families,” Steckloff said. “Protecting and dignifying all of Michigan’s children no matter how they’re brought into this world.”
Steckloff said in a statement that the measures are “long overdue, crucial legislation” that can assist families navigating surrogacy or adoption in all circumstances.
The bills, which passed with party-line 56-53 votes, would allow paid surrogacy contracts, amend requirements for the issuing of birth certificates include children born through surrogacy to be automatically be included as legal children for inheritance purposes.
The bills faced unified Republican opposition in the House, with Rep. Gina Johnsen, R-Lake Odessa, saying she was concerned about making Michigan surrogacy into a for-profit industry.
“Unfortunately, 48 other states in our country have succumbed to the pressure of the multibillion dollar fertility industry and allow legally binding service and contracts,” she said.
Steckloff later stressed that the bills don’t require payment for surrogacy services, instead only opening that up as an option for those involved in surrogacy. Michigan’s regulations would require a surrogate to be at least 21 years old and have had a child before, she added.
Michigan’s surrogacy laws previously received a national spotlight with the case of Tammy and Jordan Myers, a couple who had to wait several years to legally adopt their biological children who were carried by a surrogate.