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Part One: Surrogacy, at home and abroad.

Thu 21 Apr 2016 In: Features View at Wayback

Green MP, Kevin Hague currently has a Bill in the house that touches on issues of surrogacy. A very topical issue, we delve into the issues surrounding surrogacy, at home and abroad.   Unveiled in 2012, Hague’s Bill, overhauling the nation’s current adoption law from 1955, would tackle two issues surrounding surrogacy if it were to pass into law. Surrogacy has come into the spotlight recently as an Auckland couple hit the headlines last month revealing the issues of their international case. The couple, Nicky and David Beard, posted an online plea asking for help in bringing their three newborn babies back to New Zealand from Mexico. They stated to have faced huge financial hurdles as their international surrogacy agent took off with some of their money and one of their children was born prematurely. Although Mexico recently banned international surrogacy for homosexual couples, the surrogates were pregnant before this law had passed. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade told the couple there was nothing they could do to help seeing as this would qualify as an international surrogacy case. They were only able to provide them with advice. With Kevin Hague’s Bill currently in the ballot, it is possible that the issue of local surrogacy will enter the spotlight once again, should the Bill be drawn. This will not however, have an impact on international surrogacies, such as the one undertaken by the Auckland couple in Mexico. Hague says although his Bill doesn’t set out to address all the issues surrounding surrogacy, it tackles two main implications related to adoption. “Currently the law has been unclear about the legal status of the recipient parents, and my bill sets out a framework for this, clarifying that, provided certain clear requirements are met, the recipient parents can adopt the child and become her or his legal parents,” he says. “The Bill also clarifies the law to ensure that a child born through surrogacy overseas is entitled to New Zealand citizenship if her or his parents are New Zealanders.” In relation to paid surrogacy the Green Party doesn’t have a policy or position, but Hague says he is personally opposed to commercial surrogacy, in New Zealand and overseas. “My reason is that poverty might well force a woman to make decisions that have terrible consequences for her and, potentially, for the child. “However, my Bill recognises that there is currently a problem around the costs faced by women in altruistic surrogacy. The costs faced because of the surrogacy may be considerable, and my bill clarifies that actual and reasonable costs can be reimbursed without it being considered commercial.” While international surrogacy isn’t his focal point, he considers that navigating both our law and the law of another country, coupled with issues surrounding citizenship, would certainly pose a challenge. The Green Party MP considers that, in the case of Nicky and David Beard, it is part of the job of Government to help New Zealanders in trouble anywhere in the world. “In this case it would certainly have been helpful for the Government to play a role in facilitating passage through the legal issues, at the very least.” Daily News staff - 21st April 2016

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Thursday, 21st April 2016 - 6:11pm

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