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Birth certificate crusader full of thanks

Sun 11 Aug 2013 In: New Zealand Daily News

Rowen with Diane and Doreen An Upper Hutt 20-year-old fighting to get both her mums' names on her birth certificate has expressed her thanks to Labour MP Louisa Wall for adopting her case. When her mum Diane Sullivan became terminally ill with lung cancer, Rowen Sullivan’s second mother Doreen Shields was not able to jointly adopt her, because she was an IVF baby born before a 2005 law change. Doreen became her guardian instead, leaving Rowen a legal orphan when Diane died. While Doreen was able then able adopt her daughter, it means she no longer has Diane on her birth certificate as a result. Wall has this week pushed a rare Private Bill to have both women's names on the document through the first reading, with all but New Zealand First backing the move. Rowen says Wall has been amazing. "Doreen and I really had no idea a Private Bill was even possible, and she has put in a lot of time and work to see this through. I'm forever grateful to her for putting in so much effort when this bill really only effects me," she says. "It still doesn't feel real to me. But if this all works out and I do get a birth certificate with both my parents' names on it, it will mean the world to me. My birth certificate will finally be accurate and the truth of where I came from will be legalised.”    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Sunday, 11th August 2013 - 9:02am

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