DPA made a submission to the Health Select Committee on the Improving Arrangements for Surrogacy Bill.
DPA is pleased that Parliament is adopting new legislation on surrogacy and are generally supportive of the bill. We are particularly pleased to see that it has provisions to ensure that agreed surrogacy arrangements are complied with once a child is born. However, we are concerned that it makes no mention of disabled people, children or parents.
Disabled Parents and Surrogacy
Disabled people may embark on the journey of creating a child and may choose another person to carry and birth that child because of impairment-related issues they would face in doing so themselves.
Societal stereotypes, discrimination and negativity towards disabled people being parents are well documented. Indeed NZ’s current adoption legislation has clauses that allow children to be removed from disabled parents wholly on the grounds of the parents impairments.
DPA believes that the bill needs to provide rights for disabled parents who have become parents through surrogacy.
Parents Not Wanting a Disabled Child
There have been numerous stories in the press of parents not taking their disabled child from its surrogate birth parents because the child is disabled.
This is unacceptable and any new legislation on surrogacy needs to prevent this from happening under surrogacy orders or other formal arrangements.
Overseas and Intercountry Surrogacy
In order to protect the rights of disabled children born through surrogacy internationally, DPA strongly supports a process that upholds the Hague Convention level of safeguarding for adopted children.
We further believe that tamariki of NZ parents, born through international surrogacy, should receive NZ citizenship regardless of where their birth certificate is issued. This would provide certainty that disabled children born through international surrogacy would be accorded the full rights and entitlements of New Zealand citizens.
DPA believes that the Surrogacy Registrar should be given additional functions in regard to any disability issues.
- Read the full DPA submission on the Improving Arrangements for Surrogacy Bill (Word Doc)