NZ parents go offshore for their baby dream

NZ Herald 9 August 2014
A clampdown on paid surrogacy in Thailand following the abandoning of Down syndrome baby “Gammy” by his Australian parents, will shut the door on desperate Kiwi couples – but there are other options.

Thai authorities said they would now only allow paid surrogacy if the intended parents were medically infertile and if a blood relation was asked to carry the child.

In New Zealand commercial surrogacy is banned and many couples have been turning to India and Thailand where fertility tourism has been booming until the latest debacle shone an international spotlight on the possible pitfalls.

It is estimated about 10 New Zealand couples a year are involved in commercial surrogacy in countries where it is legal, including the United States, Ukraine and one state in Mexico.

Fertility Associates counsellor Sue Saunders said the scandal, in which Western Australians David and Wendy Farnell took Gammy’s healthy twin sister home claiming they were told their little boy would die of a congenital heart condition, highlighted the risks of overseas surrogacy.