As seen on Ariel Gore’s site.
New law will require marriage as a legal
condition of motherhood
By Laura McPhee
Republican lawmakers are drafting new
legislation that will make marriage a requirement for motherhood in the state
of Indiana, including specific criminal penalties for unmarried women who do
become pregnant "by means other than sexual intercourse."
According to a draft of the recommended
change in state law, every woman in Indiana seeking to become a mother through
assisted reproduction therapy such as in vitro fertilization, sperm donation,
and egg donation, must first file for a "petition for parentage" in
their local county probate court.
Only women who are married will be
considered for the "gestational certificate" that must be presented
to any doctor who facilitates the pregnancy. Further, the "gestational
certificate" will only be given to married couples that successfully
complete the same screening process currently required by law of adoptive
As it the draft of the new law reads
now, an intended parent "who knowingly or willingly participates in an
artificial reproduction procedure" without court approval, "commits
unauthorized reproduction, a Class B misdemeanor." The criminal charges
will be the same for physicians who commit "unauthorized practice of
The change in Indiana law to require
marriage as a condition for motherhood and criminalizing "unauthorized
reproduction" was introduced at a summer meeting of the Indiana General
Assembly’s Health Finance Commission on September 29 and a final version of the
bill will come up for a vote at the next meeting at the end of this month.
Republican Senator Patricia Miller is
both the Health Finance Commission Chair and the sponsor of the bill. She
believes the new law will protect children in the state of Indiana
and make parenting laws more explicit.
According to Sen. Miller, the laws
prohibiting surrogacy in the state of Indiana
are currently too vague and unenforceable, and that is the purpose of the new
"But it’s not just surrogacy,"
Miller told NUVO. "The law is vague on all types of extraordinary types of
infertility treatment, and we wanted to address that as well."
"Ordinary treatment would be the
mother’s egg and the father’s sperm. But now there are a lot of extraordinary
things that raise issues of who has legal rights as parents," she
explained when asked what she considers "extraordinary" infertility
Sen. Miller believes the requirement of
marriage for parenting is for the benefit of the children that result from
"We did want to address the issue
of whether or not the law should allow single people to be parents. Studies
have shown that a child raised by both parents–a mother and a father–do
better. So, we do want to have laws that protect the children," she
When asked specifically if she believes
marriage should be a requirement for motherhood, and if that is part of the
bill’s intention, Sen. Miller responded, "Yes. Yes, I do."