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Becoming a surrogate

The gift of surrogacy is truly extraordinary! For women facing medical conditions or surgeries that make pregnancy unsafe or impossible, surrogacy opens up a world of possibilities, allowing them to experience the joy of motherhood.

Helpful tools
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What does surrogacy involve?

Surrogacy involves the use of IVF technology to create an embryo, which is then placed in the uterus of a surrogate.

In New Zealand, the surrogate is often referred to as the 'intending birth mother'. If pregnancy occurs, the surrogate carries and nurtures the baby until birth, after which the 'intending parents' adopt the baby through a regular adoption process, welcoming their precious child into their arms and hearts.

Surrogacy is a beautiful testament to the power of love, compassion, and the incredible miracles that can happen when hearts unite.

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Regulation of surrogacy

  • surrogacy requires an ethical application to ECART
  • intending parents must have a medical condition that prevents pregnancy or makes pregnancy unsafe, or have unexplained infertility and have not become pregnant from other treatments
  • the intending birth mother must be assessed as being capable of a safe pregnancy and birth. She should have finished her own family
  • surrogacy with donor eggs may also be an option for gay men
  • when a child is born from surrogacy, the surrogate is the child’s legal mother and her partner is also a legal parent. Because of this, preparation for surrogacy must include preparing for adoption with Oranga Tamariki. The usual rules for adoption apply.
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Key ethical issues to be aware of

Our counsellors will help you to discuss the issues and how to manage them:

  • ensuring everyone is fully informed about the psychological, social and ethical issues before they go ahead, so there are no regrets or surprises later
  • the emotional risks of giving up a child for adoption.
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FAQs for surrogates

Who is surrogacy for?

Surrogacy may be an option when a woman doesn’t have a uterus (for instance after surgery) or has a medical condition that makes pregnancy unsafe.

What are the steps to become a surrogate?

Surrogacy is a complex and lengthy process. 

A typical timeline for an ECART application for surrogacy can usually take 12 weeks or more. This timeline can be found in our Pathways booklet.

Ready to start your fertility journey?

Book a free 15 minute phone consultation with one of our expert fertility nurses.

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The Biological Clock

This tool indicates:

  • Natural conception per month if you have no fertility issues
  • IVF success rate at the same age
  • When to seek help after months of unsuccessful attempts

If you are concerned at any stage – we recommend booking a doctor appointment or a free nurse consultation. The sooner you make a plan the better your chances in the long term.

When to seek advice early

  • If you have polycystic ovaries, endometriosis, or have been through a cancer diagnosis; we recommend you get in touch quickly so we can talk you through all your options and give you the greatest possible chance of success.
  • If you’re a single woman considering motherhood in the future; it’s best to approach us early and consider egg freezing as this can be an option for you while you have a higher ovarian reserve and healthier eggs.
Set your age and the months you’ve been trying to conceive
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Your chance of having a baby per month for fertile couples
Your chance of having a baby per IVF cycle (if experiencing infertility)

Body Mass Index calculator

Being overweight or underweight can reduce fertility, so it is important to keep your body weight within the normal healthy range.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is an indication of your body weight and can be calculated by dividing weight by height. You should aim for a BMI of between 20 and 25, as this will optimise your chances of conception.

Woman’s BMI below 19

Even in these modern times, nature knows best. If a woman's BMI falls below 19, the body senses famine and ovulation is switched off to prevent the risk of having a baby with malnutrition. Excessive exercise can reduce body fat and increase muscle mass to a point where periods cease for the same reason. Risk of miscarriage is also increased in women with a low BMI.

Being underweight

If a woman's BMI falls below 19, the body senses famine and ovulation is switched off to prevent the risk of having a baby with malnutrition. Excessive exercise can reduce body fat and increase muscle mass to a point where periods cease for the same reason. Risk of miscarriage is also increased in women with a low BMI.

BMI’s greater than 30

This can reduce fertility by 50%. Pregnancy for women with a 30+ BMI is often associated with problems such as maternal diabetes, high blood pressure, big babies and increased risk of caesarean section.

Add your height and weight to calculate your BMI