Sperm donor, surrogacy and co-parenting laws in New Zealand

The NZ law: Access to artificial insemination is granted to both single and lesbian couples, though public funds are only for women or couples with fertility problems. Sperm donations must be free and donors must provide identifying information. Same sex parenting is accepted but still unequelly recognized: while a lesbian couple having conceived a child through sperm donor insemination is likely to have both mothers registered on the child's birth certificate, this is still impossible for a gay couple: neither through a surrogacy (surrogacy arrengements are not recognized by NZ law) nor an adoption (same sex couples are not allowed to adopt jointly).

Donor Conception (embryo, egg and sperm donation) in New Zealand


In New Zealand, reproduction and gametes donation (i.e egg, embryo and sperm donors) are regulated by the 2004 Law.Human Assisted Reproductive Technology Act 2004: legislation.govt.nz

Advisory Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technology (ACART): acart.health.govt.nz

Assisted Reproductive technology (artificial insemination, IVF, etc.)

Access to assisted reproductive technologies is granted to all women, lesbians and singles included. Restricted to women experiencing fertility troubles.


Self-insemination is not contemplated by NZ law.

Identifying information on embryo, egg and sperm donors

When donating sperm, the donor is requested to provide identifying information in order to comply whith the law's principle that "donor offspring should be made aware of their genetic origins and be able to access information about those origins".donated embryos or cells and donor offspring / Human Assisted Reproductive Technology Act 2004: aph.gov.au

Paid or freem sperm donors?

No valuable consideration can be received or given in exchange of a sperm donation.Commercial supply of human embryos or human gametes prohibited / Human Assisted Reproductive Technology Act 2004: legislation.govt.nz

Surrogacy in New Zealand

Altruistic surrogacy

A surrogacy arrangement is not illegal, but is not enforceable either. Under NZ law the surrogate mother is the legal mother of the child.Status of surrogacy arrangements and prohibition of commercial surrogacy arrangements / Human Assisted Reproductive Technology Act 2004: legislation.govt.nz

Commercial surrogacy

No valuable consideration can be received or offered for a surrogacy arrangement in New Zealand.

Surrogacy abroad

A surrogate child conceived abroad will not be eligible for NZ residence unless the child has been adopted by a NZ resident/citizen and the adoption meets the necessary adoption requirements (i.e. Hague Convention). New Zealanders thinking about international surrogacy should seek independent legal advice, and consult the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA), Immigration New Zealand (INZ) and Child, Youth and Family (CYF) before anything.International Surrogacy / Inmigration New Zealand: dol.govt.nz

Can gay dads have a surrogate child?

Future gay dads can consider surrogacy as an option in New Zealand, although no legal arrangement can be made with the surrogate mother prior to the birth of the child. Yet, only the biological father is likely to be named on the birth certificate.

Adoption in New Zealand

Access to general adoption

Singles may have access to adoption regardless of their sexual orientation, though a man alone cannot adopt a female child. LGTB couples are not eligible for adoption.LGBT rights in New Zealand, Adoption and Parenting / Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org

Step child adoption for same sex couples

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people have the same legal rights as other people in New Zealand. Sex between men was decriminalised in 1986. New Zealand enacted legislation that permitted civil unions in 2005, which allowed couples many of the same rights as married couples and same-sex marriage has been legalised and gone into effect since August 19, 2013.  wiki

Co-Parenting in New Zealand

Only 2 co-parents involved

The mother of a child from a donor can be considered as the sole guardian of the child, if she is not married during pregnancy. His consent is required to save another parent on the birth certificate.Child's father and mother usually joint guardians / Care of Children Act 2004: legislation.govt.nz

Gay and Lesbian parents: teara.govt.nz

More than 2 co-parents involved (e.g. 1 couple + 1 single or 2 couples)

Only 2 parents can be registered on a birth certificate. Parents, Guardians and Donors can make legal arrangement in order to establish parental roles in relation to the child.Making arrangements and resolving disputes / Care of Children Act 2004: legislation.govt.nz



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