any families are created with Alternative Reproductive Technologies (ART). Opposite-sex and same-sex couples often receive donated gametes (sperm or eggs) when they form a family, or engage a surrogate to carry and give birth to their child. It is important to enter into legal donor agreements and take the steps to establish legal parentage of the child.
Judgement of Parentage
The law in New York changed in 2021 to clarify who the legal parents are when ART’s are used, and it is now possible to ask a court for a Judgment of Parentage (before or after the child’s birth).
It is critically important that same-sex couples obtain a Judgment of Parentage or second-parent adoption (see Adoption section) so that the parents’ relationship with their child cannot be challenged in hostile states or countries.
Gestational surrogacy contracts are valid in New York, as long as they meet legal requirements (which include substantial protections for the surrogate). A gestational surrogate is not a genetic parent of the child. Traditional surrogacy arrangements, where the surrogate is a genetic parent of the child, are not valid in New York. A Judgment of Parentage is necessary to clearly establish that the intended parents are the legal parents of the child, and that the surrogate is not a legal parent.