Stuff co.nz 18 August 2014
Rules around how much surrogate parents and egg donors are paid in compensation needs an urgent review, with many New Zealanders choosing to head overseas for costly fertility treatment instead.
The Advisory Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technology (Acart) has assembled a group to advise the next health minister to review payments that can be legally offered to surrogate and egg donors in New Zealand.
“We are looking at what are the policy drivers that are sending New Zealanders overseas for fertility treatment,” acting chairwoman Alison Douglass said.
The move comes amid international outrage over the case of Gammy, the baby boy with Down syndrome born to a Thai surrogate, who was allegedly abandoned by his Australian parents who in turn denied abandoning the child, blaming the surrogacy agency. The case has sparked a government crackdown on the international surrogacy industry in Thailand.
In New Zealand, Acart finished public consultation about importing and exporting embryos and gametes in March, which included seeking views about paying donors more.
Many submissions raised concerns about poor compensation for Kiwi surrogates and egg donors and said it was the main reason few women were offering to do either. That meant desperate parents-to-be were forced to seek fertility services overseas.