Assisted Reproduction: Do We Need Legislative Definitions of the Family?
Legislative consideration of surrogacy may [also] provide the opportunity to begin to focus on the overall implications of the new reproductive biotechnology--in vitro fertilization, preservation of sperms and eggs, embryo implantation and the like.
In the Matter of Baby M1
Assisted reproduction--artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization with or without egg or sperm donation, surrogate parentage, and even human cloning--challenge traditional notions of the family. Over a decade ago, while declaring "surrogate parenting contracts" void and legally unenforceable, the New Jersey Supreme Court suggested that legislatures were better suited than courts for providing comprehensive legal resolutions to the problems of assisted reproduction.
A decade later, other appellate courts are still making similar calls for comprehensive legislative solutions while ruling on the disposition of frozen embryos, 2 the enforceability of surrogate parenting contracts, 3 the support obligations to a child without any genetic or gestational connection to the wife or the husband, 4 and the effects of divorce on voluntary surrogate arrangements. 5 Implicit in these judicial calls for legislative solutions is the question: Do we need legislative definitions of the family? So far, no legislature has adopted comprehensive regula-