Tomorrow is the big day! In an earlier blog entry (August 4th) I talked about writing one of our state representatives about wanting to help with trying to get gestational surrogacy with compensation legalized in our state. As it stands right now, someone in Washington who wants to use a gestational surrogate with any monetary compensation for the surrogate can't, it's criminalized. HB 1267 - 2011-12 would decriminalize it and set specific parameters on surrogacy in Washington. In many states right now there aren't specific statutes on the books allowing surrogacy, but there also aren't specific statutes prohibiting surrogacy. Those states function in a sort of surrogacy limbo. People in those states often engage in surrogacy, but if something were to go before the courts, neither party has much protection and their contracts could be essentially meaningless. This bill sets up specific rules, spelling out exactly what is allowed. It protects both the intended parents, and the surrogate.
So here I go. I've always said if you don't vote, you can't complain about the decisions our lawmakers make. And I guess I'm taking it one step further. If there's something that's really important to change, then it's important for people who have a vested interest to stand up and speak. There's a part of me that really doesn't want to do this. I've got a bunch of stuff I have to get done for work, it's about a 1 1/2 hour drive to get there, and who knows what it will be like afterwards when there's traffic, I'm not sure what I'm going to say, excuses, excuses, excuses. But, when I really got to thinking about it, this is an opportunity for me to actually have a chance to make a difference for something I believe in. Granted, it's not as simple as writing a letter or giving money to a cause, things I've done in the past. But, I figure it's time to step up to the plate. In 20 years I want to be able to look back at my life and say that when I had the opportunity to make a difference I didn't let it pass by, I stepped up.
So tomorrow I'll be in front of the Washington State House Judiciary Committee with Aaron by my side. Wish me luck, and pray for me!