New Jersey Supreme Court Asks: Who is the Legal Mother of Child Born Through Surrogacy?

In a case that puts New Jersey again in the forefront of reproductive rights, the state Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday on whether an infertile wife should be recognized as the legal mother of her husband's biological child born to a surrogate gestational carrier from a donated egg.

... Deputy Attorney General Kimberly Jenkins defended the current process, saying that when a gestational carrier is introduced, a third party with rights is brought into the picture.

She said that under the Artificial Insemination Act, the sperm donor remains anonymous and has no voice in how his donation is used.

"Here, it's completely different," Jenkins said. "You have the introduction of a third party" who carries the child for nine months.

Chief Justice Stuart Rabner again noted that an infertile father is automatically treated as the father on the birth certificate, even though he has no biological connection to the child.

"We're not dealing with the same situation," Jenkins said. "The baby [created with donated sperm] is actually being born within the marriage. Here we have a third party who does have rights."