Surrogacy: Demand for overseas embryos, eggs, sperm increases in New Zealand

NZ Herald 27 February 2021
Inquiries for embryos, eggs and sperm to be shipped to New Zealand have increased as Kiwis are no longer able to travel for fertility treatments overseas because of Covid-19.

But getting the precious cargo into the country in an attempt to create a baby has become a whole lot harder.

Finding a surrogate or egg or sperm donor in New Zealand can be difficult, partly because payment to them is illegal here. Most surrogates are someone the intended parents know, but there is an increasing trend of people turning online to find someone.

Before Covid, many would-be parents travelled to specialised clinics overseas where commercial surrogacy is legal and where an embryo transfer would take place.

Dr Mary Birdsall, group director of Fertility Associates, says intended parents are having to rethink the process.

“We’re seeing many, many more requests of all different types of fertility treatments involving offshore clinics. So people wanting to ship eggs, sperm, embryos all over the world… and into New Zealand. I think Covid has made that a more challenging landscape.”

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