International surrogacy

You need a temporary visitor visa for a child born through an international surrogacy arrangement. The Minister of Immigration decides whether to grant this visa.

What is international surrogacy

International surrogacy is when a child is born to a surrogate mother overseas. The surrogacy arrangement can be a commercial or altruistic one.

Legal parents

Under New Zealand law, the birth mother and her partner, if she has one, are considered to be the legal parents of the child. Even if you and/or your partner are genetically related to the child or are identified on the birth certificate, you are not considered the legal parents under New Zealand law.

You can learn more about international surrogacy on the Oranga Tamariki website.

Surrogacy and adoption | Oranga Tamariki

Temporary visitor visa for your surrogate child

If you want to bring a child born through an international surrogacy agreement to New Zealand, you will need a temporary visitor visa for the child. There is no immigration policy to facilitate the entry of children born through an international surrogacy agreement. However there is an agreed process that allows the Minister of Immigration to consider a temporary visitor visa for such children on a case-by-case basis.

To start the process of getting a temporary visitor visa you will need to contact Oranga Tamariki. Oranga Tamariki will contact us directly to facilitate the referral to the Minister of Immigration.

The Minister of Immigration will make a decision on whether or not to grant the visa. They will consider factors such as whether the child has a genetic connection to you or your partner, what is in the best interest of the child, New Zealand's obligations to other countries, and the nature of the surrogacy arrangement.

You can find the full list of things the Minister of Immigration will consider in the New Zealand Government's international surrogacy factsheet.

International surrogacy factsheet

DNA tests

You may need to provide us with DNA tests. We will let you know if these are needed.

You must pay for these tests and it can take up to 8 weeks from contacting the clinic to receiving the test results. You may need to remain in the country of your child’s birth until you get the test results.

Residency and citizenship

Because the birth mother and her partner are considered to be the legal parents, the child will not be eligible for New Zealand residence. However the child will be eligible for New Zealand citizenship if they have been adopted by a New Zealand citizen or resident.

Before the process of surrogacy and adoption begins, the adoptive parents must contact Oranga Tamariki and the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) to ensure the process follows all relevant New Zealand laws.

Information for parents and lawyers

International surrogacy is a complex area of immigration law. The process of getting a child born through an international surrogacy agreement to New Zealand involves other government agencies and processes. If you are a New Zealander who is considering commissioning a surrogacy overseas you should get independent legal advice. You should also contact Oranga Tamariki, DIA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade (MFAT).

Immigration New Zealand is part of a whole-of-government approach for surrogacy matters. Check the factsheet on international surrogacy for more information. This factsheet is produced jointly by Immigration New Zealand, Oranga Tamariki, DIA and MFAT.

International surrogacy factsheet