Sunday, 25 January 2009

NZ surrogate required to pay child support

What is shown time and time again is that in the surrogacy debate the law is way behind what is happening in people's lives.

Fairfax reports that a gay Queensland couple applied to the Federal government for benefits, including presumably the baby bonus. The only problem was that their child was born via a surrogate in New Zealand. Because the father is receiving Centrelink, and can identify the mother, the Child Support Agency has written to her demanding that she pay child support. The birth mother is still liable to pay, because while surrogacy is not illegal in New Zealand, unlike Queensland, there has not been an adoption.

This case is yet another example of the need for people to get good legal advice before seeking surrogacy arrangements, or IVF arrangements that are not through a clinic.

It would also appear that the gay couple, who presumably are usually Queensland residents, have committed offences in Queensland under the Surrogate Parenthood Act 1988. This is because they entered into a surrogacy arrangement. Where that arrangement happened is irrelevant in the eyes of Queensland law.

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