In the North Shore Family Court, male partners to a civil union successfully applied to adopt two children born through surrogacy.

The Adoption Orders were made despite the fact that the particular surrogacy arrangement (which took place in the USA) could not have happened in New Zealand.  It could not happen here as a result of our laws relating to surrogacy and egg donation.

A friend of the Applicants was the surrogate and the eggs were from an anonymous donor.  Each applicant fertilised one egg.  The agreement with the egg donor provided that she would have no further contact.  The surrogacy was arranged in the US and the children were also born there.  The male partners were also American and were NZ residents.

Despite the NZ public policy concerns regarding surrogacy/egg donation the Court felt the Orders were in the best interests of the children because:

  • The applicants always intended to live in NZ with the children, following their birth; and
  • They were each the biological father of one of the children; and
  • The Adoption Orders would enable the immigration services to allow the children to remain in NZ; and
  • All reports on their capabilities as parents were glowing.

In New Zealand only individuals or married couples can adopt, not de facto or civil union partners.  The applicants in this case adopted one child each, rather than adopting both children together as this would have been prohibited.

Unlike the USA where egg donors can remain anonymous, in NZ information about egg donors must be recorded and donor offspring or their guardians may request that information (subject to some age restrictions).

If you would like further information about adoption within NZ or inter-country adoption, contact us on (04) 473 6850.

Please note that Rainey Collins is not contracted to provide Legal Aid, other than in the Treaty of Waitangi area.  We therefore are unable to take on any Civil or Family Legal Aid work. If you require Legal Aid in those areas, you can search the list of Legal Aid lawyers on the Ministry of Justice website.