The Joint State Government Commission Subcommittee on Assisted
Reproductive Technologies is comprised of representatives from the Commission’s
Advisory Committees on Adoption Law, Decedents’ Estates Laws and Domestic
Relations Law, as well as practitioners with experience in matters relating to assisted
reproductive technologies and establishing the legal parentage of children born as a result
of such technologies. In addition, consultants from the Pennsylvania Department of
Health were invited to participate in the subcommittee discussions to provide guidance on
current departmental practices and procedures.
The impetus for establishing the subcommittee was the introduction of Senate Bill
408 (Printer’s No. 391) of 2005, which provided a statutory framework for surrogate
parenting agreements, and the Senate Judiciary Committee public hearing on the
legislation on March 14, 2005. During the March 14 public hearing, Senator Stewart J.
Greenleaf, the Chair of the Judiciary Committee, requested that the Subcommittee on
Assisted Reproductive Technologies review the subject matter and report back to the
Senate Judiciary Committee with its recommendations.
Lawrence A. Kalikow was named the chair of the subcommittee, which held its
organizational meeting on April 22, 2005. The subcommittee subsequently met nine
times to date: June 2005, August 2005, October 2005, December 2005, January 2006,
April 2006, September 2006, December 2006 and January 2007. During the meetings,
the subcommittee members thoroughly reviewed the Uniform Parentage Act (UPA),
statutory law, case law, current Pennsylvania practice and Department of Health
The subcommittee members agreed on a statutory framework for assisted
reproductive technologies in Title 23 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes (the
Pennsylvania Assisted Reproductive Technologies Act), consisting of general provisions
and provisions regarding gestational agreements, set forth in this report as Subchapters A,
B and C of proposed Chapter 59 of Title 23. The members also recommended that the
Pennsylvania Supreme Court amend the Orphans’ Court rules to conform to the
provisions of this chapter.
Comments follow the sections of this chapter and explain the statutory provisions.
Several comments are derived from the UPA comments and concepts raised in the UPA.
The official comments may be used in determining the intent of the General Assembly.
In addition, throughout this chapter, notes explain the source of the provisions and
outline similarities and differences with the UPA.
The members are continuing their discussions on provisions relating to children of
assisted reproduction and records, which will constitute the foundation of a subsequent
report and will add Subchapters D and E to proposed Chapter 59 of Title 23.
In light of the complexity of the issues concerning assisted reproduction, the
members recommended a review of the report of the President’s Council on Bioethics
Reproduction and Responsibility: The Regulation of New Biotechnologies (March