A letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo and the top legislative leaders in the Senate and Assembly urges them to legalize gestational surrogacy in New York.
The letter was signed by 256 women who have been surrogates themselves. The letter is being released later Thursday amid a renewed effort this year to legalize the process, which is backed once again by Cuomo as part of his agenda in the new year.
"We have come to this issue from different backgrounds and perspectives, but we share the universal belief that everyone who dreams of having a family should be able to do so," the women wrote in the letter. "Advances in medicine over the past three decades have made biological parenthood possible for so many who would never have been able to have children before – but science can only take us so far. For many hopeful parents, surrogacy is their only option."
The letter comes as after the provision failed to gain traction in the state legislature. Some Democratic lawmakers raised concerns over whether women who become surrogates could be exploited during that time.
But the letter in part seeks to rebuff some of those fears and highlights how surrogates continue to play a role in the lives of children and their families.
They add that the primary motivation for becoming a surrogate is helping a family, "not a financial reward."
"We understand better than anyone what it takes to serve as a surrogate – and what it means to families who rely on surrogacy to have children," the letter states. "On behalf of these families, we urge you to end New York’s ban and replace it with what would be the most supportive law in the country for both women acting as surrogates and intended parents."