BILL ANALYSIS Ó SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, Chair 2015-2016 Regular Session AB 2349 (Chiu) Version: May 23, 2016 Hearing Date: June 21, 2016 Fiscal: No Urgency: No NR SUBJECT Assisted reproduction agreements for gestational carriers DESCRIPTION This bill would provide that California has subject matter jurisdiction to determine parentage of a child conceived pursuant to an assisted reproduction agreement for gestational carriers if certain conditions are satisfied, including that the child is born in California, or one or more of the parties to the agreement reside in California or resided in California when the agreement was executed. This bill would also make technical changes to the requirements of an assisted reproduction agreement for gestational carriers. BACKGROUND It is the policy of the State of California to establish paternity for all children. The establishment of paternity provides children with equal rights and access to benefits such as health insurance, child support, and inheritance. (Fam. Code Sec. 7570.) Under existing law, a child born during a marriage to a wife who lives with her husband is conclusively presumed to be the child of the marriage. (Fam. Code Sec. 7540.) For a child born outside of a marriage, paternity may be established by a voluntary declaration of paternity or through another legal presumption of paternity. (Fam. Code Secs. 7573, 7611.) In the event that two or more presumptions of paternity arise, the court is required to find in favor of the presumption which on the facts is founded on the weightier considerations of policy AB 2349 (Chiu) Page 2 of ? and logic. (Fam. Code Sec. 7612.) For most heterosexual couples, conception is achieved with the woman's own eggs and the sperm of her male partner, making parental identity straightforward. However, individuals and couples are increasingly using assisted reproduction technology, which can rely upon donor sperm, donor eggs, donor embryos, and host wombs, thereby requiring the legal concept of parentage to evolve. Generally, donors of genetic material are treated under law as though they are not the parents of a child conceived from that material. For example, California's Family Code treats sperm donors who are not married to the woman who conceives using the donor's sperm as "if he were not the natural father of the child thereby conceived, unless otherwise agreed to by the woman and donor in writing prior to conception of the child. (Fam. Code Sec. 7613(b).) In most of these cases, the law instead looks to the "intended parents," as defined by the California Supreme Court in Buzzanca v. Buzzanca (1998) 61 Cal.App.4th 1410, which held that, regardless of who provides the eggs, sperm or uterus, the intended parent(s) are "the first cause, prime movers, of the procreative relationship." (Id. at 1424.) Thus, a parental relationship is often established at the time medical procedures are initiated and consented to by the intended parent(s), even in the absence of any biological relationship between them and the child(ren) created. In other situations, courts will look to an adult who has functioned as a parent to the child, and determine whether he or she fits an existing presumption under California law. The definition of what constitutes a family, or how a family is created has been the source of legal tension which the Legislature has sought to address. AB 1349 (Hill, Ch. 185, Stats. 2011) distinguished between known sperm donors who planned to co-parent with the mother and more traditional sperm donors who gave their genetic material without any expectation of parenting the child conceived. In 2013, the Legislature enacted AB 1403 (Committee on Judiciary, Ch. 510, Stats. 2013) to update the Uniform Parentage Act (UPA) by codifying case law which has applied presumptions of parentage neutrally with regards to gender, and make the Act's provisions gender neutral where appropriate. SB 115 (Hill, 2013) sought to clarify how presumptions of parentage work in situations where an individual is both a presumed father and a sperm donor. AB 2344 (Ammiano, Ch. 636, Stats. 2014) created three optional forms to allow intended parents to state their intention, in writing, to parent AB 2349 (Chiu) Page 3 of ? a child conceived with the use of assisted reproduction. This bill, seeking to ensure that California court orders are respected in other states and that California maintains the ability to determine parentage in the event that a party to an assisted reproduction agreement for gestational carriers (i.e., surrogacy agreement) resides out-of-state, would clarify when the court may exercise subject matter jurisdiction over a child or parties to an assisted reproduction agreement for gestational carriers. CHANGES TO EXISTING LAW Existing law establishes the California Uniform Parentage Act, and defines a parent and child relationship as the legal relationship between a child and the child's natural or adoptive parents, incident to which the law confers or imposes rights, privileges, duties and obligations. (Fam. Code Sec. 7600 et seq.) Existing law defines "assisted reproduction" as conception by any means other than sexual intercourse, and defines "assisted reproduction agreement" as a written contract that includes a person who intends to be the legal parent of a child born through assisted reproduction and defines the terms of the relationship between the parties to the contract. (Fam. Code Sec. 7606.) Existing law prohibits the parties to an assisted reproduction agreement for gestational carriers, as defined, from undergoing an embryo transfer or commencing injectable medicine prior to the execution of the agreement, and requires that the parties to an assisted reproduction agreement for gestational carriers be represented by separate, independent counsel prior to the signing of the agreement. (Fam. Code Sec. 7962.) Existing law provides that a party to an assisted reproduction agreement may bring an action at any time to establish a parent-child relationship consistent with the intent expressed in the agreement, and requires the court, upon petition by any party to an assisted reproduction agreement for gestational AB 2349 (Chiu) Page 4 of ? carriers, to issue an order establishing parentage. (Fam. Code Secs. 7630, 7962.) Existing law povides that a person who has sexual intercourse or causes conception with the intent to become a legal parent by assisted reproduction in California submits to the jurisdiction of courts in California with respect to an action brought regarding a child who may have been conceived by that act of intercourse or assisted reproduction. (Fam. Code Sec. 7620.) Existing law provides that the proper venue for an action with respect to a child conceived through intercourse or assisted reproduction is in one of the following: the county in which the child resides; if the child is the subject of a pending or proposed adoption, any county in which a licensed California adoption agency to which the child has been relinquished or is proposed to be relinquished maintains an office; if the child is the subject of a pending or proposed adoption, the county in which an office of the department or a public adoption agency investigating the petition is located; or if the parent is deceased, the county in which proceedings for probate of the estate of the parent of the child have been or could be commenced. (Fam. Code Sec. 7620.) Existing law provides that the proper venue for a parentage action with respect to a child conceived through use of an assisted reproduction agreement for gestational carriers, but not yet born, is any county where: the child is anticipated to be born; the intended parents reside; the surrogate resides; the assisted reproduction agreement for gestational carriers is executed; or the medical procedures pursuant to the agreement are to be performed. (Fam. Code Sec. 7962 (e).) This bill would provide that a person who enters into an assisted reproduction agreement for gestational carriers (i.e., a surrogacy agreement) in California submits to the jurisdiction AB 2349 (Chiu) Page 5 of ? of courts in California for an action brought regarding a child who may have been conceived by assisted reproduction as a result of that agreement. This bill would provide that if a child is conceived using an assisted reproduction agreement, as defined, California courts have jurisdiction over a proceeding to determine parentage of that child if one of the following is satisfied: one or more of the parties to the agreement resides in California or resided in California when the agreement was executed; the medical procedures leading to conception, including in vitro fertilization or embryo transfer or both, were carried out in California; or the child was born in California. This bill would provide that the proper venue for an action with respect to a child conceived pursuant to an assisted reproduction agreement for gestational carriers is any county where: the child is anticipated to be born; the intended parents reside; the surrogate resides; the assisted reproduction agreement for gestational carriers is executed; or the medical procedures pursuant to the agreement are to be performed. This bill would require that an assisted reproduction agreement for gestational carriers contain, among other things, information on the person from which the gametes originated, unless they were donated, in which case, the agreement does not need to specify the name of the donor, but must specify whether the donated gametes were eggs, sperm, embryo or any combination. COMMENT 1.Stated need for the bill According to the author: AB 2349 (Chiu) Page 6 of ? AB 2349 provides a much-needed clarification regarding the jurisdiction of California courts. Although California courts are courts of general jurisdiction, and our family courts have taken jurisdiction over parentage determinations in surrogacy cases in the past, advocates for both surrogates and intended parents remain concerned that absent something explicit in California's statutes, a surrogate's home state may take jurisdiction to address parentage and custody in a way that is inconsistent with the surrogacy contract and with California's Family Code Section 7962. Given that the child of California-intended parents will be a California child, the state courts and the Legislature have an interest in assuring that California has jurisdiction to address the parentage of these children up front. By making California's jurisdiction over our gestational surrogacy cases explicit, the California Legislature would be acting to affirmatively protect families, including LGBT families, engaging in assisted reproduction efforts in California from having their parental rights infringed upon in another state. 2.Will create consistency and predictability for families using assisted reproduction Courts may only hear matters over which they have jurisdiction. Subject matter jurisdiction relates to the issues before the court, and personal jurisdiction relates to the individual. California courts are of general jurisdiction which can hear a wide variety of cases over individuals who reside in California, do business in California, or are involved in events that take place in California. Courts are constitutionally required to find that an individual has minimum contacts with a state, such that the exercise of personal jurisdiction will not offend "traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice." (International Shoe v. Washington (1945) 326 U.S. 310.) In addition to jurisdiction, a court may not hear a case if the venue is improper. Proper venue generally requires that an action must be brought in a court in the county where a party resides or the event giving rise to suit took place. This bill provides that the court has subject matter jurisdiction over any person who signed a surrogacy agreement in California and any child who was thereby conceived. Specifically, this bill provides that the court has subject matter jurisdiction to determine parentage if any of the following are met: (1) one or more of the parties to the AB 2349 (Chiu) Page 7 of ? agreement resided in California when the agreement was executed; (2) the medical procedures leading to conception were performed in California; or (3) the child was born in California. Similarly, this bill would establish proper venue in the county where an assisted reproduction agreement for gestational carriers was executed, where either party resides, where the medical procedures took place, or where the child is anticipated to be born. The U.S Constitution, requires that states give "full faith and credit" to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. In other words, valid court orders issued in any state (i.e., the jurisdictional requirements, venue requirements, and law were properly followed), must be acknowledged by other states. Thus, to the extent that a non-California court may not recognize or properly enforce California assisted reproduction agreements or related court orders, by clarifying subject matter jurisdiction and venue requirements, this bill will ensure that couples using an out-of-state surrogate may have the parentage of any resulting child determined in California or pursuant to a California pre-birth court order establishing parentage. In support, Equality California writes, "a clear statement of California courts' jurisdiction over parentage actions arising from surrogacy agreements is necessary to ensure that other states will respect these orders. California courts already have jurisdiction over these cases, but without a clear statement of jurisdiction, questions can arise when courts of other states consider these orders. Women entering into gestational surrogacy agreements in California-in an effort to assist infertile and/or same-sex couples-need to know that the California courts will protect them by enforcing orders that came from California courts, which these surrogates relied on in deciding to offer their services as surrogates. And intended parents and their children need to know that their parentage will be secure no matter where they live or travel to." Support : Equality California; National Center for Lesbian Rights Opposition : None Known HISTORY AB 2349 (Chiu) Page 8 of ? Source : Author Related Pending Legislation : None Known Prior Legislation : AB 960 (Chiu, Ch. 566, Stats. 2015) created uniform rules for intended parents, regardless of gender and/or marital status, and updated the optional, statutory assisted reproduction forms to be consistent with the provisions of this bill. AB 2344 (Ammiano, Ch. 636, Stats. 2014) created three optional forms to allow intended parents to state their intention, in writing, to parent a child conceived with the use of assisted reproduction. AB 1217 (Fuentes, Chapter 466, Statutes of 2012) required a surrogate mother and the intended parent(s), each represented by independent counsel, to execute a notarized or witnessed surrogacy agreement before the mother can begin medication for assisted reproduction. AB 2356 (Skinner, Chapter 699, Statutes of 2012) excepted sperm donated by a sexually intimate partner of the recipient from second or repeat testing, as specified, if the recipient is informed of the testing requirements and signs a written waiver. Defined "sexually intimate partner" to include a known or designated donor to whose sperm the recipient had previously been exposed in a nonmedical setting in an attempt to conceive. AB 1349 (Hill, Chapter 185, Statutes of 2011) provided that a voluntary declaration of paternity is invalid under specified circumstances, allowed a presumed parent to bring a motion set aside the voluntary declaration within a specified amount of time, and provided that a sperm donor would not be considered the natural father unless otherwise agreed to in writing. Prior Vote : Assembly Floor (Ayes 78, Noes 0) Assembly Judiciary Committee (Ayes 10, Noes 0) ************** AB 2349 (Chiu) Page 9 of ?