For now, surrogacy in the United States is regulated at the state level. Unfortunately, most states are in bed with #bigfertility, favoring the practice. Indiana is one of the few remaining states where surrogacy is prohibited as against public policy. Surrogacy still happens in Indiana, but surrogacy contracts are void and unenforceable by statute. It’s the next best thing to being completely illegal.

Specifically, currently in Indiana it is “against public policy to enforce any term of a surrogate agreement that requires a surrogate to do any of the following: (1) Provide a gamete to conceive a child. (2) Become pregnant. (3) Consent to undergo or undergo an abortion. (4) Undergo medical or psychological exams. (5) Use a substance or engage in activity only in accordance with the demands of another person. (6) Waive parental rights or duties to a child. (7) Terminate care, custody, or control of a child. (8) Consent to a stepparent adoption.” 

Thanks to a supporter in Indiana, it was brought to our attention that legislatures in Indiana are trying to make it the next New York. Indiana House Bill 1267, introduced in January 2023, sought to “repeal current Indiana law regarding surrogacy agreements” to enact a Gestational Surrogacy Agreement and Gamete Donation Act to establish legal guidelines in cases of surrogacy and egg or sperm “donation” (including the retrieval of gametes from a person who is deceased; brain dead; comatose; or in a persistent vegetative state). Laws like this promote the thriving industry of renting women and buying and selling babies. Supporters of surrogacy want people to think that bills like HB1267 protect surrogate mothers and the children they bear, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. This bill weakens a women’s medical autonomy during a surrogate pregnancy, threatens her well-being, and dehumanizes women and children. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first assault on women and children in the space of reproduction, in January 2022 House Bill 1104 was introduced with the same agenda as HB1267. It wasn’t heard in committee and, fortunately, the bill died. HB1267 met the same fate, but like a zombie that won’t quit, we suspect it to rise from the dead, introduced as a new bill in the future. 

As a native Hoosier and proud Boilermaker, it breaks my heart to see representatives introduce bills that threaten women and children in this way.

Followers of our work often ask, “what can I do to help?” Here is your call to action. Indiana resident or not, support our work and help us keep our finger on the pulse of new bills being introduced concerning surrogacy and third-party reproduction. We will keep you up to date on what is happening in your state. If you see something, say something. Please write to me at Kallie.fell@cbc-network if you see laws threatening women and children. Finally, Indiana residents, you can write to your state senators and representatives to tell them you oppose any Gestational Surrogacy Act and Gamete Donation Act. We will continue to oppose surrogacy in Indiana and beyond and keep you notified and informed.

Author Profile

Kallie Fell, Executive Director
Kallie Fell, Executive Director
Kallie Fell, MS, BSN, RN, started her professional career as a scientist in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center utilizing a Master of Science degree in Animal Sciences with an emphasis on Reproductive Physiology and Molecular Biology from Purdue University. While assisting in the investigation of endometriosis and pre-term birth, Kallie simultaneously pursued a degree in nursing with hopes of working with women as a perinatal nurse. After meeting Jennifer at a conference, Kallie became interested in the work of the Center for Bioethics and Culture and started volunteering with the organization. It is obvious that Kallie is passionate about women’s health. She continues to work, as she has for the past 6 years, as a perinatal nurse and has worked with the CBC since 2018, first as a volunteer writer, then as our staff Research Associate, and now as the Executive Director. In 2021, Kallie co-directed the CBC’s newest documentary, Trans Mission: What’s the Rush to Reassign Gender? Kallie also hosts the popular podcast Venus Rising and is the Program Director for the Paul Ramsey Institute.