A Senate hearing held at the state capitol Wednesday focused on surrogacy in the New York state.
Currently under state law, paid gestational surrogacy is illegal, but some state lawmakers are looking to change that.
"Some people dream about a house or whatever, I dream about a baby," said Larissa, who testified at the hearing, who didn't want her last name used.
Larissa sat in front of the hearing to advocate for the Child-Parent Security Act, and gave a face to infertility in the process.
She is hoping to build her family, but can’t conceive on her own. She and her husband are looking into other options.
"Its so personal. It's so much at the core of who I am. If you aren’t having trouble having children you aren’t thinking about this at all," Larissa said through the tears.
However, current New York state law limits their possibilities. The state is one of three where it is illegal to hire a surrogate.
Denise Sidelman is an adoption lawyer advocating for change.
"I tell my clients, we don’t have a clear roadmap. I say you're relying on the good intentions of everybody, because the law isn't really there to protect you and your relationship with your children," Seidelman said.
Currently, families can only pay surrogates for the cost of medical bills, which is forcing hopeful parents to go outside state lines to form their families.
"They're not able to attend many of the doctors apointments because of the added cost. And some families even talk about missing the birth of their child," Sidelman said.
The Child-Parent Security Act would remove the ban on gestational surrogates. It would also enforce regulations to enhance women's rights during the process.
If enacted families, like Larissa's, say the bill would make a dream become reality.
“It would be a miracle. It would feel so good for New York, our home, to help us with something that's really difficult and beyond our control," Larissa said.
This topic has been in the front of the governor's budget proposal for 2020. Cuomo says it will not only enhance women's rights but also help protect rights of the LGBTQ+ Community.