LGBT group ‘Men Having Babies’ backs Democrat bill funding surrogate children for same-sex couples

By Jonathon Van Maren

Representative Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) and Rep. Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park) put forward a bill called the Equal Access to Reproductive Care Act on June 22, but it hasn’t received much attention until now. H.R. 8190 makes “assisted reproduction as a tax deductible medical expense” and “defines assisted reproduction as any methods, treatments, procedures, and services for effectuating a pregnancy and bringing it to term, and treats it as medical care of the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s spouse, or dependent to the extent that they intend to take legal custody or responsibility for any children born as a result of such assisted reproduction.” The primary intent of the bill is to ensure that same-sex couples can purchase children.

The bill is the result of a collaboration between RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, Family Equality, and Men Having Babies, which sent out a press release this month celebrating the intent and likely impact of the bill. According to their website, Men Having Babies is an international non-profit:

dedicated to providing gay men with educational and financial support to achieve parenthood through surrogacy. MHB’s annual conferences, workshops and webinars provide over two thousand attendees worldwide with unbiased guidance and access to a wide range of relevant service providers. The organization’s Gay Parenting Assistance Program (GPAP) annually provides hundreds of couples with over a million dollars worth of cash grants, discounts and free services from over seventy providers.

If passed, H.R. 8190 would eliminate IRS regulations that prohibit tax credits or deductions for medical fees incurred for surrogacy. Men Having Babies lauded the bill as a step forward for “Fertility Equality,” which the New York Times described in a 2020 article as a movement “formed around the idea that one’s ability to build a family should not be determined by wealth, sexuality, gender or biology.” According to the Men Having Babies press release:

The focus on making surrogacy as a path to parenthood more affordable was also the context of a collaboration between MHB, NCLR and RESOLVE to create a new Model Legislation for Infertility Coverage for IVF mandates that will be inclusive of same sex and single prospective parents. The Model Act includes a new definition of “infertility” that includes “a person’s inability to reproduce either as a single individual or with a partner without medical intervention.” MHB submitted supporting statements and mobilized our members to help Illinois pass the first legislation in the nation that uses this definition, and to support similar ongoing legislative efforts elsewhere.

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