Chin v Chin [2019] NZFC 1629

Published 09 September 2019

Adoption — surrogacy — international birth — welfare and best interests of child — Adoption Act 1955, ss 5, 7, 11 & 23 — Adoption (Inter-Country) Act 1997 — re an application by BWS to adopt a child [2011] NZFLR 621. A married couple applied to adopt a child born out of a commercial surrogacy arrangement in the United States of America. The male applicant was the biological father of the child. Although the child was born in the United States they were not deemed to be habitually resident in that jurisdiction as there was no settled purpose the child would live there. This meant the Adoption (Inter-Country) Act 1997 did not apply and the Court had jurisdiction to consider the adoption under the Adoption Act ("the Act"). Section 7 of the Act required the birth mother give her consent to the adoption which she had done. Section 11 of the Act required the Judge to be satisfied the applicants were fit and proper people to care for, bring up, maintain and educate the child. The applicants had already successfully raised one child, were financially stable, had the support of family members and very much wanted to love and raise the child. The Judge decided that it was appropriate to make the adoption order sought by the applicants. A final adoption order was made to give the applicants and child certainty. Judgment Date: 5 March 2019. * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *