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New California law protects rights of parents who use donors, surrogates

When parents use a donor or surrogate to help them have a child, it's usually pretty clear to everyone involved who the parents of the child really are. However, it's not always quite as clear legally - especially in states whose laws haven't been updated to reflect a wider range of family structures.

Since same-sex couples are more likely to use surrogates and donors than straight couples are, some advocates are concerned about other states not respecting the original intent of the surrogacy arrangement. A new California law affirms the rights of parents who use surrogates or donors, even if those surrogates or donors live outside of the state, and even if the one or both parents move out of state.

Assembly Bill 2349, which Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Sept. 16, clarifies the jurisdiction of California courts in cases involving surrogacy arrangements that originated in the state. This means that even if couples move out of state, the surrogacy or donor agreement they made in California will be upheld.

Also under the new law, agreements for gestational carriers no longer have to name the person who donated gametes, but do need to specify whether eggs, sperm or embryos were donated.

Having a child can be a long, complicated and emotional process for many couples. This new law should provide some peace of mind that your parenthood won't be called into question, no matter where life takes you.

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