Re Timoko [2020] NZFC 2070

Published 06 October 2020

Adoption — surrogacy — insemination — biological father — parental consent — fit and proper persons — welfare and best interests of child — Status of Children Act 1969 — Adoption Act 1955, ss 7, 11 & 23. The applicants, who had been in a relationship for 15 years, sought to adopt a child born via a surrogacy arrangement. One applicant was the biological father and the surrogate mother was the other applicant's sister. The applicants had previously adopted a child, also born via surrogacy, but the mother of that child was one of the applicant's other sisters. Under the Status of Children Act the child was legally deemed to be the child of the birth mother and her partner, despite the fact that one of the applicants was the child's biological father and that the child's insemination and birth had been conducted with the intention he would be the applicants' child. The applicants were fit and proper persons to raise the child, the legal parents consented to the adoption and it was in the welfare and best interests of the child for an adoption order to be made. Given the circumstances the court found it was appropriate that a final order was made at first instance. Judgment Date: 17 March 2020 * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *