Family Law Alert
June 1, 2018
New Jersey's New Surrogacy Law

By Lynne Strober, Esq. and Jennifer E. Presti, Esq.
For thousands of men and women in New Jersey who want to start a biological family but have struggled through traditional means, Gov. Phil Murphy has signed into law a Bill that could change everything for them. On Wednesday, May 30, 2018, Gov. Murphy signed the New Jersey Gestational Carrier Act ("the Act") which brings New Jersey strict definition of surrogacy into modern times. Gestational carrier agreements have not been permitted in New Jersey since the famous Matter of Baby M case was heard by the New Jersey Supreme Court in 1998 and it was determined that surrogacy contracts were invalid.

Gestational carrier agreements offer an alternative path to having biological children. The Act was effective upon Murphy’s signature, although there is a 45 day period where an objection can be made to its passage. According to the New Jersey Law Journal , the bill’s main components include:

  • The gestational agreement would have to clearly state that the gestational carrier would agree to undergo pre-embryo transfer, to attempt to carry and give birth to the child, and to surrender custody of the child to the intended parent immediately on the birth of the child.
  • The agreement would allow for the gestational carrier to choose her own medical care for the pregnancy, labor, delivery and postpartum care and allow for the payment of expenses for the gestational carrier by the adoptive parent.
  • The agreement would not be considered an adoption, a surrender of custody, or a termination of parental rights.
A copy of the bill can be accessed at

Lynne Strober is Co-Chair of the Matrimonial and Family Law practice group at Mandelbaum Salsburg and handles all aspects of divorce including complex equitable distribution issues, alimony and child support, child custody, parenting time, drafting Matrimonial Settlement Agreements and Pre-Nuptial agreements, as well as addressing post judgment issues and adoptions. Lynne’s focus is on the resolution of problems via negotiation and the representation of clients in the mediation process. She is a frequent author and lecturer and a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Jennifer E. Presti is an Associate in the Matrimonial and Family Law Practice Group and is an experienced litigator.

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