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Rowen Sullivan case takes another step

Fri 18 Oct 2013 In: New Zealand Daily News View at NDHA

Rowen Sullivan with her mums A Lower Hutt woman has appeared before a Select Committee as progress continues in her bid to have both her mothers named on her birth certificate. When one of Rowen Sullivan's mothers, Diane Sullivan, fell ill from terminal lung cancer, her other mother, Doreen Shields was not given the option to jointly adopt her, because she was an IVF baby born before a 2005 law change. Shields become Sullivan's guardian instead, and adopted Sullivan after Diane's death. The upshot is that only one of Sullivan's mothers is listed on her birth certificate, a situation she is seeking to change. Sullivan, now 20, says she wants the change in order to honour both of her mothers, as well as to create equal ground for same-sex family rights. A rare Private Bill from Louisa Wall would allow the change. It sailed through its first reading. Rowen Sullivan has appeared before the Government and Administration Select Committee, along with her mother Doreen Shields, and Wall. Shields described seeing the birth certificate without her partner's name on it as "obscene", the Dominion Post reports. "It's important for her [Rowen's] children, and their children, to go back and see her family history, and to see this big empty space, it just seems wrong." The Select Committee is due to report back to the House in February.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Friday, 18th October 2013 - 9:44am

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