SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Couples in need of a surrogate mother would have fewer options if a bill in the South Dakota Legislature gets passed.
House Bill 1096 aims to ban commercial surrogacy contracts and charge brokers such as agencies who are facilitating the process with a misdemeanor.
A House Committee heard testimony on this bill Wednesday.
A Sioux Falls woman who’s getting ready to be a surrogate for the third time is calling on lawmakers not to pass this bill.
Mother of two, Ella Daae, wants other parents to have what she and her husband have.
“There are so many people that want to have kids that just can’t have kids so why not help other people?” Surrogate Ella Daae said.
Daae goes through a surrogacy agency to carry other people’s babies for them.
She does receive compensation, but told the committee on Wednesday her motivations are not financially driven.
“No stranger would feel comfortable not paying someone to go through that for them,” Daae said.
Proponents of the bill say it’s not an outright ban on surrogacy.
“This doesn’t criminalize altruistic surrogacies, those surrogacies where individuals volunteer and don’t profit from creation of human beings,” Rep. Jon Hansen said.
“They say you can probably find a surrogate who will do this for an altruistic reason, but will you?,” Daae said.
Representative Jon Hansen says his heart goes out to anyone struggling with infertility.
“I don’t have all the answers for everyone. I pray that adoption might be the answer for some, but I do know that making for profit business and commodities out of mothers and children is wrong,” Hansen said.
Meanwhile, Daae would rather see lawmakers more regulation instead of a ban on some surrogacy.
“In our past we have learned that prohibitions don’t really work. Prohibitions just push things under the table so I’m definitely against this bill,” Daae said.
Daae says this third surrogacy will be her last simply because of her age.
The bill passed committee, and Hansen says it will likely hit the House floor next week.
KELOLAND.com Reporter Michael Geheren has more in-depth coverage of this issue.
Click here to learn more about the contracts involved and a complete report of Wednesday testimony in committee.