NZ birth certificate makes history by naming two parents as 'mother'

  • 03/05/2018
NZ birth certificate makes history by naming two parents as 'mother'
Photo credit: Getty

The first New Zealand birth certificate to name two women as "mother" for a child conceived of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) has been issued.

Nelson parents Jess and Stacy were left disappointed with the Department of Internal Affairs following the birth of their daughter Evie, who was conceived using ART.

On Evie's birth certificate, only the gestational parent had been listed as "mother" - with her partner listed as "other parent".

The couple asked the Department of Internal Affairs if both of them could be named as "mother", but this was refused.

However with the help of lawyer Stewart Dalley, the couple lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission, who then passed it along to the Department of Internal Affairs, claiming they had been discriminated against on the grounds of gender and sexual orientation.

The Department of Internal Affairs settled the claim and issued Jess and Stacey with a new certificate listing them both as "mother".

It marks a first for the country and now the Department of Internal Affairs is rolling out the changes for other parents.

In future, parents registering children conceived using ART will be able to select "mother", "father" or "parent" for the non-gestational parent.

In addition to this, all parents registering a child will be able to choose one of the three options, regardless of how they were conceived.

The full process is expected to be in place by the end of 2018. Until then, the department will be providing manual assistance.