The decision to have a child with the aid of donation or surrogacy is a complex lifelong decision.
At Repromed, our team is highly-experienced in helping people grow their family through a donor and/or surrogate.
Below you’ll find more information about the process and how we can help.
In Aotearoa donor services are tightly regulated to safeguard the welfare of the child, the donors, and the couples or single clients who want a family. Under the Human Assisted Reproductive Technology (HART) Act all donors must be identifiable.
Surrogacy is also closely regulated and 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. Our team will support you through the ECART application process and treatment.
Being a recipient of donor sperm or donor eggs
The decision to use donated sperm or egg involves many considerations, including potential long term psychological, social, health and legal implications.
Our donor coordinators, doctors, counsellors, nurses and scientists are here to support you through the process and answer any questions you may have along the way.
You can find out more information about being a recipient of donor sperm or donor eggs in our information sheets, below.
Clinic donor sperm: approximately 21 to 24 months from placement on a waitlist.
Clinic donor egg: unfortunately, the egg donor waitlist is extensive. While we are unable to provide you with a timeframe for offering you a clinic egg donor, we will contact you should a potential donor become available for you. (If you’re receiving publicly funded treatment, you are not eligible for a clinic egg donor. However, our Donor Team will discuss other options available.)
Please note, these wait times refer to all ethnicities. Wait times for Asian, Indian, Māori and Pasifika donors may vary. Please get in touch with our Donor Team if you would like to enquire further.
If you are considering home insemination using donated sperm, there are many considerations to be aware of. Donor treatment at a fertility clinic follows strict guidelines to protect you from the significant medical and legal risks, and also protects the rights of your future child, if successful.
If you have a sperm donor that is either from an existing relationship eg a friend/family member, or you have recruited the donor through advertising or an exchange of personal information on social media, this is called a known donor.
In this situation, you come to the clinic with your known donor that fits the recommended age criteria (between 20 – 40 years), and all parties undergo health screening, counselling and a three-month quarantine period. There is usually no ethics approval required according to the HART Act so the process is faster than waiting for a clinic donor but it may still take four to six months of donor and recipient preparation before treatment begins. For sperm donors several suitable samples are frozen and stored to enable at least three rounds of inseminations.
By choosing to do your treatment with a known donor at a fertility clinic, the known donor has no legal or financial responsibilities for any resulting donor conceived people, and your potential child is entitled to request their donor’s identity when they turn 18 years old.
The Fertility Society of Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) provides excellent advice for those thinking about home insemination which you can read here. You can also learn more about the process in our information sheet below.
We use frozen embryos that already exist and are in storage at Repromed, having been created using IVF fertility treatment. The people to whom the embryo(s) belong will have decided to donate these embryos.
This process of donation will involve doctor, counselling and legal appointments as well as approval from the Ethics Committee of Reproductive Technology (ECART).
If you’re interested in donating your embryo(s) or looking for embryo donation, please get in touch with us.
Surrogacy refers to situations where someone is unable to carry a pregnancy and a surrogate is needed to carry the pregnancy instead.
Surrogacy can also provide same sex couples with an option for a baby.
More commonly, surrogacy means that anyone unable to carry the pregnancy and their partner (if applicable), would create embryos through IVF. Then, the surrogate has an embryo transferred to their 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.
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 client(s) who need the surrogate, know well. It must be the intention of the surrogate to give the baby, after delivery, to the intended parents. The client(s) requiring the surrogate need to go through the formal process of adopting the baby.
For more information, see our guide to surrogacy for intended parents.
Donor and surrogacy: processes and legislation with Repromed Team Counsellor Helen Nicholson
Megan leads the nursing team through the continually changing face of IVF. She works in a multidisciplinary team, providing the essential organization between the doctors and laboratory and ensuring communication between all departments.
Megan started her IVF nursing career in the United Kingdom, working in two large London clinic’s before returning to New Zealand. She is also the Secretary of Fertility Nurses of Australasia.