Proposed California Law Gets Government and Insurance Companies Involved in Surrogate Pregnancies for Gay Men. What Could Go Wrong?

CREDIT: Photo by Amina Filkins:

The California legislature is considering a bill redefining “infertility” to include male homosexual partners.

The bill, an amendment to the state’s health insurance called SB 729, redefines infertility as “a person’s inability to reproduce either as an individual or with their partner without medical intervention.” The proposed law changes infertility from a medical condition that can be treated to a status that would encompass everyone but particularly the alphabet people.


Freshman state senator Caroline Menjivar (D.), who coauthored the bill with Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks (D.), said: “It will ensure that queer couples no longer have to pay more out of pocket to start families than non-queer families. … This bill is critical to achieving full-lived equality for LGBTQ+ people, as well as advancing well-rounded and comprehensive health care for all Californians.”

The bill promises to wreak havoc with California health care plans

According to an analysis by the California Health Benefits Review Program, the coverage mandates would raise annual premiums for employer-sponsored plans by more than $330 million a year. The California Association of Health Plans said the coverage mandates are the most expensive of 16 that the legislature is considering, which together would add about $1 billion to the premiums.

The bill’s import is that it puts the state in the position of subsidizing surrogate pregnancies. This is the pet project of the gay advocacy group Men Having Babies, which, according to its website, “is dedicated to providing gay men with educational and financial support to achieve parenthood through surrogacy.”

This isn’t California’s first move in this direction. In 2014, California required insurers to pay for infertility treatments: see Gestational Surrogacy: Women For Lease, Children For Sale.

While I have strong moral reservations about invitro fertilization — by “strong moral reservations,” I mean “absolutely opposed” — I think the idea of state involvement in surrogacy is indefensible.


It is difficult to come up with any activity more odious than the trafficking of babies. Surrogacy is exploitative. Sometimes a surrogate has a relationship with the “couple” wanting a child and is a fully cooperating partner. Generally, that is not the case. Most surrogate mothers are poor and are using their only competitive advantage to survive. When things go wrong, the surrogate mother is left holding the bag. For instance, in 2014, a homosexual Australian couple entered into a contract with a Thai surrogate mother. She conceived twins. When one of the twins was diagnosed with Down Syndrome, the Australians demanded she abort the baby. She refused. When she delivered the twins, they took one baby back to Australia and left her with the Down Syndrome infant; see The abandonment of Gammy and the immorality of surrogacy. Typically, the buyers agree to pay the mother’s medical expenses. That doesn’t always happen.

A surrogate mother from Colorado has been hit with $217,000 in medical bills after delivering twins for an Austrian couple who have fled the U.S. with the children.

Carrie Mathews says she nearly died delivering Rudolf and Teresa Bako’s children in July after suffering severe complications.

And despite an extensive contract between the families, including the Bakos’ payment of medical fees, Mrs Mathews says health care officials are demanding the sum while the Bakos refuse to pay what they owe her.


In some countries, there is a thriving “surrogate” tourism industry. It should be no shock to anyone that it isn’t unusual for couples using a Third World surrogate to only accept one baby out of IVF-created multiple births, and the other babies are sold on an “extra baby” black market (read Babies for sale).

It is hard to see how an already fraught process is made better by the involvement of state governments and insurance companies. The proposed change to California law focuses entirely on guaranteeing that gay men can now have children at Sam’s Club prices. It blithely ignores the market it creates for surrogates and extra babies and its ramifications.







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