Surrogacy refers to situations where a woman is unable to carry a pregnancy and another woman, the surrogate, is needed to carry the pregnancy for her. This may involve the surrogate woman being inseminated with sperm from the partner of the woman unable to carry the pregnancy. More commonly, surrogacy involves the woman unable to carry the pregnancy and her partner creating embryos through IVF, and then the surrogate woman having an embryo transferred to her uterus to carry the pregnancy.
In all situations, surrogacy in New Zealand requires a case by case application from the fertility clinic to the Ethics Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technology (ECART) before treatment can take place. An application to ECART requires medical, legal and counselling consultations to ensure all parties are well informed. If ECART approve an application, treatment can usually take place quite quickly.
A surrogate needs to be in good health, be medically appropriate to carry a pregnancy, and have completed their own family. It is highly preferable that a surrogate is someone that the couple needing the surrogate knows well. It must be the intention of the surrogate to give the baby after delivery, to the intended parents. The woman requiring the surrogate and her husband need to go through the formal process of adopting the baby.
If you wish to discuss surrogacy, please make an appointment to see one of our doctors. If surrogacy is considered to be the most appropriate option, then our counsellors will guide and support you through the ECART application process and treatment.