A bill proposed addresses issues for those who use surrogacy to conceive.
- One in eight couples struggles with infertility. Now, in many cases, the only way of having a child is with the help of a surrogate, a woman who actually carries the pregnancy.
- But in Colorado, there are no laws regarding surrogacy arrangements. Our political specialist Shaun Boyd live at the Capitol-- Shaun, it's one of those cases where the law just has not kept up with the advancements in medicine.
SHAUN BOYD: Jim, and that is despite the fact that couples travel here to Colorado because of our world-renowned fertility doctors. While reports of surrogacy arrangements gone awry are rare, given what's at stake, some lawmakers say it's time we put protections in place.
They may look like an ordinary family, but the Hoechst family's story is extraordinary.
JUDITH HOECHST: On the night that our daughter was born, I almost died.
SHAUN BOYD: Judith Hoechst says it took years, multiple miscarriages, and in vitro fertilization to conceive her daughter. It would take even more for her son. Her uterus was unable to sustain another pregnancy. Someone else would have to carry her baby, a surrogate. And in Colorado, there are no laws governing surrogacy pregnancies.
JUDITH HOECHST: For that reason, I chose a surrogate in California because California had very good surrogacy statutes.
SHAUN BOYD: Representative Meg Froelich says it's time Colorado, which has world-class fertility clinics, passed its own law.
MEG FROELICH: The most important thing is protection of all parties.
SHAUN BOYD: Froelich and Senator Joann Ginal, sponsors of a bill that, among other things, requires surrogates and parents have separate attorneys, undergo medical and mental health screenings, and sign contracts that detail the rights and responsibilities of both parties.
- Should something go wrong, having specific protections established in statute prevents surrogacy-related court cases from being left to the discretion of judges.
SHAUN BOYD: Hoechst among those pushing for the bill. After her son's birth, she became an attorney specializing in surrogacy cases.
JUDITH HOECHST: This is an incredibly wonderful, intimate journey to having a child.
SHAUN BOYD: Now, Hoechst says the bill will also make birth certificates easier for couples in surrogacy arrangements. Right now, the law says the woman who gives birth is considered the mother, making most courts reluctant to switch those birth certificates. 25 other states have similar laws in place.
The bill did pass the Senate Health Committee today and is headed to the floor. It has already passed the House. Live at the Capitol, Shaun Boyd, covering Colorado first.