intended parents, New Zealand, Surrogacy, Surrogate Mother

New Zealand – Make sure new law doesn’t make surrogates ‘useful wombs’

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The Law Commission estimates that around 50 children are born through surrogacy each year, including through international commercial surrogacies. Photo: Flickr/Sergio Santos

Anne Else looks at the Law Commission’s proposals for new surrogacy law, and the key legal issue: how the intending parents become the legal parents

Agreeing to be a birth mother in a surrogacy arrangement is a precious gift to people wanting a child. But if it’s poorly regulated, it can lead to women being seen as just useful wombs.

No one knows exactly how many surrogacy arrangements have been made or how many children have been born this way to New Zealanders since the Human Assisted Reproductive Technology (HART) Act was passed in 2004, because no comprehensive records are kept. But surrogacy makes up less than 1 percent of fertility clinic treatment cycles here. There’s no guarantee of a live birth.

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