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ACT backing Tamati Coffey's surrogacy bill

Labour MP Tamati Coffey's surrogacy bill has today got backing from the ACT party. 

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ACT is also urging other opposition parties to do the same in order to trigger a new rule at parliament that could see the bill progress faster. Source: 1 NEWS

Coffey's bill covers many areas, including identifying on the birth certificate who donated an embryo or cells, as well as the surrogate.

It also calls for a register listing potential surrogates and, crucially, the ability to create a legally-binding surrogacy order ahead of the child's birth.

"So that the time that baby's born, the intending parents become the parents. We've heard a few heartache stories along the way about that gap and what happens in there," Coffey said.

His son Tūtānekai was born via a surrogate and he wants to make it simpler for others.

"We need these reforms. We need modern laws for modern families."

Tamati Coffey with his partner, Tim Smith, and their son, Tūtānekai Smith-Coffey. Source: 1 NEWS

ACT deputy leader Brooke van Velden said backing Coffey's bill means the idea can be debated in Parliament and fleshed out.

"Why would we make it harder and put more barriers in the way of people who want to have children? This is the right thing to do," she said.

Eight months ago, Kellie Addison gave birth as a surrogate to baby Honour.

However, the process took two-and-a-half years from start to finish. 

"Obviously I went into it always with the intention to give her up and I really felt for the birth parents in that they had no real rights at all during that process. Like, if I had changed my mind after I gave birth to that child, we would have had to go through Family Court."

Coffey's bill is currently waiting to be pulled from the "lucky dip" ballot system, but if it gets enough support from across the house, it can go straight onto Parliament's order paper. 

ACT is challenging the Māori Party and National to get on board.