The Improving Arrangements for Surrogacy Bill has been introduced with the aim of streamlining and better regulating the surrogacy process in New Zealand. The Bill can be read in light of the Law Commission’s recent review of our surrogacy law. One of the main concerns was that the current legal framework is difficult to navigate, particularly given surrogacy arrangements in themselves can be emotionally and psychologically challenging for surrogates, the intending parents and the child involved.
Key features of the Bill:
- Currently, parents must wait until after the birth of the child before beginning the formal adoption process in the Family Court. Under the Bill, the child's parents would automatically become the legal parents of the child at birth.
- It enforces the legal obligation of intending parents to pay child support (should they ultimately choose not to have the day to day care of the child).
- Under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, a child has a right from birth to know their parents and the right to seek and receive information of all kinds. Under the Bill, the registered birth information for the child would record the identity of the surrogate and any person who donated an embryo or cells for the pregnancy.
- Currently, you cannot pay someone to be your surrogate. Under this Bill, although it remains an offence to pay someone for the supply of a human embryo or human gamete, or for participation in a surrogacy arrangement, that does not include payments for the actual and reasonable expenses incurred in doing those things.
The Bill was only introduced on 23 September 2021 so it’s still very much in the early stages of its formulation. A full copy of the Bill as it currently stands can be found here.
If you have any queries relating to surrogacy or family law feel free to contact Annie Withington, Solicitor (DDI 03 343 8583 / 027 800 9683 / email@example.com).