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Paid Surrogacy Now Legal In New York

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A big change in New York starts Monday for couples and singles struggling to start a family. CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reports.

Video Transcript

MAURICE DUBOIS: A change in New York starting today for couples and singles who are struggling to start a family.

KRISTINE JOHNSON: Yes, New York is joining most other states in the nation, making paid gestational surrogacy legal. CBS 2's Carolyn Gusoff has the details

CAROLYN GUSOFF: For [? Lisa ?] and [? Mohamad ?] of Valley Stream, this day brings a turning point in their quest to start a family.

- We're very excited.

- Very excited, You know, big day. We waited for this for, what, three years now?

- Yeah, it's been three years because we knew we would have to go this route even before surgery.

CAROLYN GUSOFF: Cancer surgery made it impossible for Lisa to carry a child, so they'll pay a surrogate. New York state is reversing a decades old prohibition. Paid surrogacy will become legal.

JOSEPH MILIZIO: It's a complete game changer in that what is now referred to as the Parent-Child Security Act will allow certain kinds of surrogacy arrangements.

CAROLYN GUSOFF: Attorney Joseph Milizio explains paid surrogacy was outlawed in New York and three other states amid comparisons to baby selling. The new law comes with pages of regulations. Courts are gearing up to oversee detailed agreements.

JOSEPH MILIZIO: Health insurance has to be supplied. Life insurance has to be supplied, physical examinations, mental examinations.

CAROLYN GUSOFF: Surrogates are lining up already. The agency ConceiveAbilities says 2/3 of surrogates know someone struggling with infertility. Rebecca Kitchin, a New York mother, eager, she says, to give a gift.

REBECCA KITCHIN: I just want to be able to help. I want to provide meaning to someone's life in a way that transcends myself. And what better way to do that than by helping somebody with a family that they so deeply desire?

CAROLYN GUSOFF: For couples who have had to seek surrogates out of state, the new law means easier access to prenatal appointments and the birth, emotional inquiries pouring into right options.

RITA KARDASH: They could be part of the LGBT community, heterosexual couples, singles. With heterosexual couples, for example, women are unable to carry a child.

- From the time of embryo transfer to the date of birth and every appointment in between, I would like to be a part of it.

- You want to be involved. You know, it's the excitement of the whole process.

CAROLYN GUSOFF: New York will have some of the strongest protections for surrogates in the nation. They must be at least 21 years old and get paid at least $34,000. On Long Island, Carolyn Gusoff, CBS 2 news.

KRISTINE JOHNSON: And this new law only allows payment if the surrogate is not the biological parent.

MAURICE DUBOIS: All right, let's talk--