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Signed, Sealed, Delivered—Not Yours: Why the Fair Labor Standards Act Offers a Framework for Regulating Gestational Surrogacy

Posted by on Thursday, January 18, 2018 in Notes, Volume 71, Volume 71, Number 1.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered


Over the past several decades, gestational surrogacy has emerged as a rapidly growing industry. Such growth has prompted an enormous amount of debate among scholars, human rights advocates, economists, and the media over a wide array of legal and ethical issues. This debate is perhaps most evident in the divergence of state approaches to the regulation of gestational surrogacy—for example, some states ban the practice entirely, others allow only altruistic arrangements, and many states simply do not address surrogacy at all. The fractured landscape of surrogacy regulation has resulted in artificially high costs and, often, uncertainty for all parties involved. As such, the time has arrived for federal regulation of commercial surrogacy arrangements. This Note proposes that the Fair Labor Standards Act, originally enacted to prevent labor abuses and ensure wage and hour protection, offers a tenable statutory framework for regulating commercial surrogacy arrangements, as federal oversight will promote accountability among parties and further legitimize the surrogacy industry.


Zoe M. Beiner
J.D. Candidate, 2018, Vanderbilt University Law School; B.A., 2015, University of Florida.