Proposed Law on Reproduction: Indiana

I was reading on Red State Moron about Indiana’s pending legislation on reproduction. The pointers led to some pretty crazy sounding summaries. I went and read the sections, though, and I have to say, not all the summaries were as crazy as they sounded. Some of the law’s sections are that unusual. Apparently she got enough flack that she withdrew the proposal. You can still read through and see the weirdness, though.

You can click on the second link at Protein Wisdom to get a PDF of all 22 pages.

I’ve included only those things I found interesting.

SECTION 8. IC 31-9-2-63.2 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW 6 SECTION TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2006]: Sec. 63.2. (a) 7 “Intended parents”, for purposes of IC 31-20, means parents who enter into an agreement providing that they will be the parents of a child born by means of assisted reproduction or by means of assisted reproduction to a gestational mother. Parents are intended parents even if neither parent has a genetic relationship with the child. (b) The term does not include an unmarried person. PDF p. 4

. (a) “Surrogate”, for purposes of IC 31-20, means a party to a surrogate agreement who agrees to bear or bears a child that is genetically biologically related to: 24 (1) the party who agrees to bear or bears the child and an intended 25 biological parent; or (2) an intended biological parent and a gamete donor who is not: (A) an intended biological parent; and (B) the spouse of the party who agrees to bear or bears the child. or (3) two (2) intended biological parents of the child. 30 (b) This term does not include a gestational carrier. PDF p. 4

NOTE: This is not a requirement of the two parents. And if one of the parents is biologically related to the child, that is sufficient to make it their natural child.

A petitioner who seeks to establish parentage may, by attorney of 20 record, file a petition to establish parentage with the clerk of the court having probate jurisdiction in the county in which: (1) the petitioner resides; (2) a licensed child placing agency that performed the assessment under section 12 of this chapter has an office; (3) the petitioner’s physician has an office; or (4) the attorney representing the petitioner has an office. 27 (b) The county in which the petition to establish parentage may be filed is a matter of venue and not jurisdiction. Sec. 5. (a) A petition to establish parentage may be filed by an intended parent. PDF p. 5

NOTE: This is an adoption. And it is an adoption of a child even if the parent physically carries the child to term. So Indiana is asking that parents who are not “natural,” adopt. If you are biologically related to your child, or your spouse is, this adoption law does not apply to you.

(b) The intended parents must be married to each other, and both spouses must be parties to the action to establish parentage. (c) An unmarried person may not be an intended parent. PDF p. 6

NOTE: Adoptions may not be done by two unmarried persons nor by a single person. So Mary, who got a sperm donor and had a baby, would not be considered the mother of her child under Indiana law. Good thing she’s in Texas, I guess.

This section does not apply to assisted reproduction in which the child is the genetic child of both of the intended parents. (b) A physician may not commence an assisted reproduction technology procedure that may result in a child being born until the intended parents of the child have received a certificate of satisfactory completion of the assessment required under section of this chapter. (c) A physician and the intended parents may proceed with testing, gamete retrieval, embryo creation before obtaining the certificate required under section 12 of this chapter. PDF p. 8

NOTE: This means that if you want to have in vitro fertilization and you aren’t both genetic parents, then you must be approved to adopt the child you are going to carry. The plus on this is that the surrogate mother CANNOT claim that she is the parent.

(10) A description of the family lifestyle of the intended parents, include a description of individual participation in faith-based or church activities, hobbies, and other interests. PDF p. 9

NOTE: I find this worrisome. Why do you need to know my faith-based activities? Is this going to be a plus or a minus? I would think it would be. I don’t like this unless it is clearly stated whether it is considered good or bad. And I might not like it then.

Sec. 13. (a) Before commencing assisted reproduction with an intended parent, the physician who will perform the procedure shall obtain the consent of each of the intended parents. (b) The consent must contain the following: (1) An affirmation by the intended parent. (2) A statement that if an intended parent becomes pregnant, each intended parent waives the right to deny parentage of the child. (3) A statement that the parentage of a child conceived by assisted reproduction shall be the child of the intended parent for all intent and purposes, the same as if the child had been conceived as a result of sexual intercourse. (4) A statement that the contents of the consent are true under the penalties of perjury. (5) The signature of at least the physician or a member of the physician’s staff. PDF p. 11

NOTE: This is a big deal. The Brits have started dunning donor sperm fathers for their children’s raising, even though the sperm donor was told he would not be responsible for the child. Do we want that here? I don’t think so. It doesn’t deal with the problem of a child conceived in a petri and then implanted after the parents have split up, but… It’s a start.

The court may not grant a petition to establish parentage if a petitioner has been convicted of any of the following:
(1) Murder (IC 35-42-1-1).
(2) Causing suicide (IC 35-42-1-2).
(3) Assisting suicide (IC 35-42-1-2.5).
(4) Voluntary manslaughter (IC 35-42-1-3).
(5) Reckless homicide (IC 35-42-1-5).
(6) Battery as a felony (IC 35-42-2-1).
(7) Aggravated battery (IC 35-42-2-1.5).
(8) Kidnapping (IC 35-42-3-2).
(9) Criminal confinement (IC 35-42-3-3).
(10) A felony sex offense under IC 35-42-4.
(11) Carjacking (IC 35-42-5-2).
(12) Arson (IC 35-43-1-1).
(13) Incest (IC 35-46-1-3).
(14) Neglect of a dependent (IC 35-46-1-4(a)(1) and IC 35-46-18 4(a)(2)).
(15) Child selling (IC 35-46-1-4(d)).
(16) A felony involving a weapon under IC 35-47 or IC 35-47.5.
(17) A felony relating to controlled substances under IC 35-48-4.
(18) An offense relating to material or a performance that is harmful 13 to minors or obscene under IC 35-49-3.
(19) A felony that is substantially similar to a felony listed in 15 subdivisions (1) through (18) for which the conviction was entered in 16 another state. PDF pp. 12 and 13

NOTE: I’m fine with this. I don’t want these people having kids.

Sec. 16. (a) A donor is: (1) relieved of all legal duties and obligations to the child; and (2) divested of all rights with respect to the child; after the court’s entry of the decree establishing parentage.

NOTE: As I said, this is a problem in Britain. I don’t like that the baby can be made into an embryo prior to all this, because I think that’s a child, but…

Sec. 18. (a) If a marriage is dissolved before the placement of eggs, sperm, or embryos in a woman, the former spouse is not a parent of the resulting child unless the former spouse consents in a record that if assisted reproduction occurs after a divorce, the former spouse is the parent of the child.

NOTE: Now they’ve addressed that other problem of a parent being a parent even after a divorce.

Sec. 19. If a spouse dies before the placement of eggs, sperm, or embryos, the deceased spouse is not a parent of the child unless the deceased spouse makes a notarized statement under oath that if assisted reproduction occurs after death, the deceased spouse is the parent of the child. PDF p. 14

NOTE: This means you can’t posthumously make your spouse a parent. This would limit the splitting of an estate. (In Texas, without a will half goes to the spouse and half goes to all the children.) But if you really wanted to have the child of your spouse, you still could. It just wouldn’t LEGALLY be his/her child. So whose name goes on the birth certificate? I’m not sure I like this. But I’m guessing anyone who is thinking ahead will write a will.

Chapter 3. Gestational Agreements Sec. 1. (a) A prospective gestational mother, the gestational mother’s husband if the gestational mother is married, a donor, and the intended parents may enter into a written gestational agreement if: (1) the prospective gestational mother agrees to pregnancy by means of assisted reproduction; (2) the prospective gestational mother, the gestational mother’s husband if the gestational mother is married, and the donor, if known, relinquish all rights and duties as parents of a child conceived through assisted reproduction; and (3) the agreement states that the intended parents are the parents of the child. (b) The intended parents must be married to each other, and both spouses must be parties to the gestational agreement. (c) A gestational agreement is enforceable only if the agreement is validated as required in section 5 of this chapter. (d) A gestational agreement does not apply to the birth of a child conceived by sexual intercourse. (e) A gestational agreement may provide for payment to the gestational carrier for the actual medical costs incurred by the gestational carrier. PDF p. 15

NOTE: This stops carriers from claiming the child as their own. And notice you can’t have the baby and then say you were a carrier.

5) the prospective gestational mother has previously given birth and her bearing another child will not pose an unreasonable health risk to the unborn child or to the physical or mental health of the prospective gestational mother; PDF p. 17

NOTE: Your first child cannot be someone else’s. If you are giving birth to a first child, it must be yours. Then you may carry someone else’s. This would end the romance novel’s conundrum. It doesn’t require that you kept your first child, though.

A court may order the intended parents of a nonvalidated gestational agreement to pay: (1) support for the child; and (2) any fees as determined by the court. PDF p. 18

NOTE: If you don’t have a validated gestational agreement, you may lose the child and still have to support it.

(2) The fertility history of the intended parents, including the pregnancy history and response to pregnancy losses of the woman. PDF p. 19

NOTE: Before you do a gestational carrier agreement, you have to let them know how you felt and reacted to either not being able to get pregnant or to losing your babies. I don’t really like this. Obviously the woman wants a child. Why not let it go? Or is this to limit women who don’t want to be pregnant because they’ll lose their figures or something?