Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Indiana to Require Marriage for Parenthood

Read that headline again. The state of Indiana wants to make "unauthorized reproduction" a crime. Republican Senator Patricia Miller is both the Indiana General Assembly's Health Finance Commission Chair and the sponsor of new legislation that will make marriage a requirement for motherhood. The legislation includes specific criminal penalties for unmarried women who do become pregnant "by means other than sexual intercourse."

From a diary at DailyKos (emphasis mine):

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 parents.

Miller says she believes the new law will protect children in the state of Indiana and make parenting laws more explicit. Miller says the requirement of marriage for parenting is for the benefit of the children that result from infertility treatments.

"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 explained.

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."

As one commenter put it, "a man better get laid if a baby is being made." A draft of the legislation is available in PDF form here.