PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota lawmakers have introduced a bill that would prohibit commercial surrogacy contracts and provide a penalty for facilitating a commercial surrogacy.
House Bill 1096 was introduced by state Rep. Jon Hansen, R-Dell Rapids, on Sunday, Jan. 26.
The bill has seven other co-sponsors.
According to the bill text, “any broker who knowingly engages in, advertises services for, offers payment of money or other consideration for, profits from, solicits a woman for, or otherwise assists or participates in commercial surrogacy” would be guilty of a Class One misdemeanor.
Hansen told Forum News Service that the bill is meant to "prohibit the commercialization of children."
The bill would also make any commercial surrogacy contract, whether the two parties entered into it South Dakota or any other state, unenforceable and void in South Dakota.
"I was a co-sponsor on a surrogacy ban back in 2012. It's an issue that's been on my radar for a long time. Back then there were no commercial surrogacy brokerages in this state. That has changed," Hansen said. "You can say 'I want to buy a baby' and a little over nine months later a baby will be delivered."
Hansen said the bill deals with commercial surrogacy brokers and the enforcement of those contracts, not "altruistic situations."
"It doesn't prohibit surrogacy arrangements where there's no money exchanged," Hansen said.
The bill would also make an exception that allows a couple to pay for the medical expenses of a surrogate mother.
The industry today is totally unregulated. The bill would prohibit the commercialization of human children.