12 Jun 2023
Your Guide To Surrogacy
Clinic-assisted surrogacy in New Zealand is legal and regulated, but surrogacy arrangements are not legally binding. This means that the surrogate (and her partner) will be the legal parent(s) of a resulting child until the final formal adoption process has been completed, and the Intended Parent(s) then become the Legal Parent(s).
Fertility clinics adhere to the Surrogacy Guidelines established by the Advisory Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technology (ACART) (www.acart.health.govt.nz), and all clinic-assisted surrogacies require case-by-case approval from the Ethics Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technology (ECART) (www.ecart.health.govt.nz). Paramount in any surrogacy arrangement are the interests and well-being of the surrogate and any potential child. Clinics must report outcomes and any issues arising from surrogacy to ECART. From the time you commence an ECART surrogacy application until treatment can begin (if approval is granted), it is usually around 6-8 months. There is a fee for the ECART application, which is not covered by public funding. Legal fees are in addition.
Fertility clinics are not allowed to match Intended Parents with a potential surrogate. Ideally, a surrogate is someone you know directly from your network of whānau and friends or someone you are introduced to by someone you know, e.g., a sister of a work colleague. Sometimes it is not possible to find someone you know to assist. We are here for you. We have a virtual network, a private Facebook community – Donor Conception and Surrogacy Network. Its purpose is to provide mutual support and community between people who are considering donation and surrogacy, are in the process, or already have families created in these ways. There is sharing of experiences, ideas and tips. Often, people considering an option such as surrogacy find it highly valuable to talk to others who have already walked that path.
If you are about to embark on this journey, we hope our surrogacy chart will help guide you through the journey.
· IM Intending mother
· IP Intending partner
· BM Birth mother
· BP Birth partner
· ECART Ethics Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technology