Archive for October, 2005
My publisher just sent me this clip from the San Jose Mercury that lists “famous people raised in Palo Alto” & there I am. Me & Jerry Garcia & Joan Baez & the Donnas, bro. The singer from Third Eye Blind and the director of The Lion King are only “Almost famous.”
New law will require marriage as a legal condition of motherhood
By Laura McPhee
Republican lawmakers are drafting new legislation that will make marriage a requirement for motherhood in the state of Indiana, including specific criminal penalties for unmarried women who do become pregnant “by means other than sexual intercourse.”
According to a draft of the recommended change in state law, every woman in Indiana seeking to become a mother through assisted reproduction therapy such as in vitro fertilization, sperm donation, and egg donation, must first file for a “petition for parentage” in their local county probate court.
Only women who are married will be considered for the “gestational certificate” that must be presented to any doctor who facilitates the pregnancy. Further, the “gestational certificate” will only be given to married couples that successfully complete the same screening process currently required by law of adoptive parents.
As it the draft of the new law reads now, an intended parent “who knowingly or willingly participates in an artificial reproduction procedure” without court approval, “commits unauthorized reproduction, a Class B misdemeanor.” The criminal charges will be the same for physicians who commit “unauthorized practice of artificial reproduction.”
The change in Indiana law to require marriage as a condition for motherhood and criminalizing “unauthorized reproduction” was introduced at a summer meeting of the Indiana General Assembly’s Health Finance Commission on September 29 and a final version of the bill will come up for a vote at the next meeting at the end of this month.
Republican Senator Patricia Miller is both the Health Finance Commission Chair and the sponsor of the bill. She believes the new law will protect children in the state of Indiana and make parenting laws more explicit.
According to Sen. Miller, the laws prohibiting surrogacy in the state of Indiana are currently too vague and unenforceable, and that is the purpose of the new legislation.
“But it’s not just surrogacy,” Miller told NUVO. “The law is vague on all types of extraordinary types of infertility treatment, and we wanted to address that as well.”
“Ordinary treatment would be the mother’s egg and the father’s sperm. But now there are a lot of extraordinary things that raise issues of who has legal rights as parents,” she explained when asked what she considers “extraordinary” infertility treatment.
Sen. Miller believes the requirement of marriage for parenting is for the benefit of the children that result from infertility treatments.
“We did want to address the issue of whether or not the law should allow single people to be parents. Studies have shown that a child raised by both parents–a mother and a father–do better. So, we do want to have laws that protect the children,” she explained.
When asked specifically if she believes marriage should be a requirement for motherhood, and if that is part of the bill’s intention, Sen. Miller responded, “Yes. Yes, I do.”