Taxation, Pregnancy and Privacy

Bridget J. Crawford

Pace University School of Law

July 22, 2009

William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law, Vol. 16, p. 327, 2010

This Article frames a discussion of surrogacy within the context of existing income tax laws. A surrogate receives money for carrying and bearing a child. This payment is income by any definition, even if the surrogacy contract recites that it is a “reimbursement.” Cases and rulings on the income tax consequences of the sale of blood and human breast-milk, as well as analogies to situations in which people are paid to wear advertising on their bodies, support the conclusion that a surrogate recognizes taxable income, although the IRS has never stated so. The Article considers, and then rebuts, privacy-based objections to a surrogacy tax. Disclosure of income from surrogacy is a reasonable consequence of the freedom to engage in that activity. For tax purposes, the reproductive labor of surrogacy is work. The federal government should take steps to increase tax compliance.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 42

Keywords: surrogacy, surrogate, surrogate motherhood, taxation, privacy, pregnancy, reproductive labor, women, blood, sperm, breast milk, income, privacy, tax enforcement, sales of body parts, organ donation

JEL Classification: K34, K39, K12

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Date posted: July 23, 2009 ; Last revised: August 27, 2010

Suggested Citation

Crawford, Bridget J., Taxation, Pregnancy and Privacy (July 22, 2009). William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law, Vol. 16, p. 327, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1437830

Contact Information

Bridget J. Crawford (Contact Author)
Pace University School of Law ( email )
78 North Broadway
White Plains, NY 10603
United States
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